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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The election aftermath for anglers

Australia’s new government will face a challenge with the senate. Until the 1st July when the newly elected senators take office, Labor and the Greens hold the balance of power in the senate. The makeup of the new senate is likely to be, 33 LNP, 25 Labor, 10 Greens and 8 senators from independents and minor parties, an interesting cocktail indeed.
The Coalition will require at least 6 votes from the minor party/independent senators to pass any legislation through the senate. The majority of these minor party’s/independents are conservatives, but the chances are that each one of these senators will be looking to gain some concessions for their cause when negotiating to support any legislation.

Looking at the election results in the lower house, one could argue that the Coalition has a mandate to introduce the legislation that they went to the election on, and if the senate blocks this legislation it is going against the wishes of the people.
If the same legislation is rejected by the senate twice the coalition government has the power to call a doable disillusion, spilling all positions in both houses, followed by an election of both houses at the same time.

In my opinion this decision will come down to how the coalition perceives its success in a double disillusion, there is a chance that the result might reduce the coalition numbers in the lower house and/or increase the numbers of minority party/Independent senators in the upper house. If the coalition perceive that the result would benefit them, then it will be obvious in the legislation passed by the lower house for the senate (upper house) to vote on, as the coalition will take an uncompromising stance forcing a double disillusion, on the other hand if the government doesn’t like the prospects of the results of a double disillusion then we may indeed see a watering down of any legislation to give it the best chance to pass the senate.

There is also a possibility although unlikely that the Labor party will learn from its mistakes listen to the people and adjust their position on some of these issues, as had happened when the Labor government revoked the Howard governments work choices legislation without the coalition opposing it in the senate in 2008.

I think that the coalition government will go out of out of its way to appear to be doing whatever it can to pass legislation to honour its election commitments, they would be, as we all are completely aware of the reason that not only the electorate but lifelong Labor voters turned their back on the party, and there major priority will be to highlight the difference between the two parties. They will also be mindful that the Labor party will vigorously jump on any broken promise or back flip.

Greg Hunt is most likely to receive the environment portfolio, as recreational anglers already have a good working relationship with him, we hope that we can build on this relationship and foster some positive outcomes not only for recreational fishing but the environment as well, with the possibility of developing some ground breaking initiatives that will see huge benefits not only to recreational fishing but more importantly our marine environment as well.

The challenges ahead is for recreational fishing to start rebuilding its relationship with the Labor government, it’s imperative that the recreational fishing sector work with both sides of politics if we are to engage  and have a positive outcome for the future. We as recreational anglers are the true conservationist of the environment we enjoy using so much, we are a huge industry/sport/lifestyle bringing millions of dollars of revenue to both state and federal governments, we are a responsible stake holder and its time we are paid the respect we deserve be everyone. Let’s hope that this election is the turning point for us.  We as recreational anglers must understand it’s not the political parties fault that we are in this position, we have allowed ourselves to be seen as a divided weak groups that can be walked all over and treated like a soft target, this must change but the change can only come through what we do, and all political parties will follow.

We at We Fish will take the next few days/weeks to assess the effectiveness of our campaign as well as a general review of our current and future direction. We must identify the success and failing of what we have been doing so we can do I better next time, as well as ensure that we are moving in the right direction.
What we do at We Fish would not be possible without the great support we get from you guys, we would like to thank every single one of you regardless of how big or small part you have played, there are just far too many people to name, we sincerely thank you all.

I would like to reaffirm, that We Fish is A political, we will belt all sides of politics across the head when we feel what we all enjoy doing is being threatened, we will continue to stand up for the anglers of Australia without fear or favour from any one or any group.

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