27 October 2015
Today’s news that the NSW Government has extended the closure of local fishing in Williamtown by a further eight months is devastating news for commercial fishers.
Income support for affected residents and businesses remains a matter of urgency.
I have been raising the issue of compensation and support for affected residents and business owners since the news of the contamination first broke. In addition to face-to-face meetings with the Assistant Defence Minister and Defence Officials in Canberra, I’ve made formal written representations to the Government highlighting specific cases of financial impact caused by the forced closure of local industry.
I’ve also spoken in Parliament to outline the case for a fair and just compensation package, and joined with my local state and federal colleagues last Friday to call on the Commonwealth Government to provide immediate income support for residents and industry impacted by the contamination investigation in Williamtown.
We know that Prime Minister Turnbull is also aware of the issue as the Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, assured the community that he raised the issue personally with Mr Turnbull last week.
Income support must be provided to the commercial fishing industry in Williamtown immediately.