Premier Mark McGowan must step in and put an end to his Fisheries Minister’s reckless plot to nationalise the local rock lobster industry, according to The Nationals WA.
Fisheries spokesperson Colin de Grussa said Minister Dave Kelly had caused distress and uncertainty for the industry since announcing he would take ownership of 1385 tonnes of WA’s annual lobster catch just weeks before Christmas.
Since then, Mr de Grussa and his Nationals colleagues had been in regular contact with industry representatives.
“What they’re telling us is that the consultation process was non-existent,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Nationals have done more face-to-face consultation in the past few weeks than the Government ever undertook before dropping this bomb on the industry.
“The shoddy way in which the McGowan Government has treated small, family-run businesses in regional WA means The Nationals cannot support these changes.”
Mr de Grussa said the Premier had the power to spare regional families involved in the industry a great deal of consternation by putting a stop to his Minister’s ill-judged intervention before it gets to Parliament.
“We will exercise our powers in the Upper House if need be but we’re asking the Premier to end the uncertainty today and scrap Minister Kelly’s nationalisation plan,” he said.
“Somehow I doubt the Premier will step in given Minister Kelly’s union clout.
“Once again we have a Labor Premier of Western Australia hamstrung by the union heavyweights residing in his own Cabinet.
“One wonders who is running the show – the Premier or Mr Kelly.
“If the Premier allows this to continue it is an endorsement of one the more preposterous State policy positions in recent history.”