Fisheries NSW, Roads and Maritime Services and WorkCover NSW will offer advice, assistance and support to the local fishermen situated in the key estuary fishing areas of Bermagui, Eden, Narooma and Bateman. The seminar sessions will be held to alleviate the tragedy that occurred. It caused the death of a commercial estuary fisherman at Coila Lake which is north of Narooma last June 2013.
According to the Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance, “The commercial estuary fishing industry continues to face a number of challenges in relation to the management of fish stocks as well as estuary health. The NSW Government wants to ensure that fishermen fully consider the safety risks when crewing their boats and know how to seek assistance from authorities to address these risks, so that their lives are not put in danger”.
He further added, "Every worker in this State should come home safely at the end of the working day and next week’s information sessions will provide the opportunity for local commercial estuary fishermen to learn more about safe work practices and where they can go for assistance on how to improve safety. Fishers will also get the opportunity to talk to their local Fisheries, RMS and WorkCover officers.”
The Minister wants the fishers to join these seminars in order for them to qualify for a Small Business Rebate of A$500 from WorkCover NSW.
The Minister clarified that “A safe business is a sustainable one; however finding the money for a safety improvement can be a challenge for a small business owner. The Small Business Rebate covers a broad range of safety solutions and can be used to address manual handling, slips, trips and falls, injuries from moving objects, and specific industry items such as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons.”
In tandem with the offered seminars, there will also be a newsletter to be published entitled, ‘Working Safely in Commercial Estuary Fishing’ to be given away to all licensed commercial estuary general fishermen in NSW to disseminate the necessary information and support they need to work safely.
Schedule for the NSW Government Commercial Estuary Fishing Information Sessions:
3 December from 10am to 1pm, Eden Fisherman’s Club, 175 Imlay Street, Eden
4 December from 10am to 1pm, Bermagui Country Club, Tuross Street, Bermagui
4 December from 2pm to 5pm, Club Narooma, 88 Princes Highway, Narooma
5 December from 10am to 1pm, Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Beach Road, Batemans Bay
6 December from 1pm to 4pm, Chifley Hotel Wollongong, 60-62 Harbour Street, Wollongong