WHETHER or not you agree with the compensation package created by Gladstone Ports Corporation for commercial fishers, there is one undeniable problem with it.
Hardly any fishers seem willing to apply for it.
We stand to be corrected on that point, as there are plenty of commercial fishers in the area who we don't know, but all the commercial fishers The Observer has spoken to seem to be taking a wide berth of the program.
The package was designed to compensate fishers for loss of income caused by the current dredging project.
GPC believes any loss of income has been primarily caused by restricted access to certain areas, rather than by damage to water quality.
GPC's compensation package might actually be a fair.
It might meet all the legal requirements.
It might be perfect.
But if most fishers do not apply for it, it will be useless.
No matter who is in the wrong here, the wide schism between fishers and the port authority appears to be permanent.
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