Anglers have turned to SEQ boat ramps, ‘fishing for food’ is no excuse to break lockdown

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Boaters and anglers are cautioned to adhere to South East Queensland’s lockdown restrictions, with land rules also applying to the sea.

Authorities say they had to turn around at boat ramps in the southeast, with some trying to take “wording loopholes” for a day on the boat.

Angus Taylor, of Maritime Safety Queensland, said officers were on the water enforcing Covid rules and those who flouted them would be warned and fined.

“Fish for food” is not an excuse

Eleven LGAs in South East Queensland remain stranded until Sunday, awaiting updates from Queensland Health, and authorities are warning people the rules apply to both land and sea.

According to Maritime Safety Queensland chief executive Angus Taylor, authorities have had to turn some hopeful fishermen to boat ramps in the southeast, including places like the Gold Coast and the island of Bribie.

He said some boaters had tried to abuse “loopholes” to justify their trip and warned others not to try.

He said “fishing for food” doesn’t count as an excuse.

“It was made clear from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“If there are other ways for you to get your food, and there are, you can go and buy fish in the supermarkets, those facilities are always open.

“And that’s if you need to get food, don’t use it as an excuse to go out on a boat, it’s only for a short time.”

Authorities will be in waters in southeast Queensland to enforce compliance (file photo)(

ABC News: Tara Cassidy

)

According to Mr. Mitchell, there are only a few reasons why people should go out on boats.

“Whether you are on land or on the water, the rules are exactly the same,” he said.

“Boating right now is one of those things that we can’t do, that’s very clear, for essential purposes only.

“But if you have to go out for essential reasons, to work, for medical assistance, to shop, it is the same on the water as if you are sitting in your house.

“At the moment, yes, it’s very restricted, and I hope it’s only a very short period before these restrictions are lifted and we can resume our normal activities.

He said authorities would cross the waters of southeast Queensland in the coming days to ensure compliance.

“Queensland Police, along with boating and fishing, have already patrolled the waterways and boat launching ramps,” he said.

“We have already had to rotate a number of people who had started to venture out, but luckily only a few.

“But we didn’t have to issue an infringement notice and hope we can get through the remainder of this lockdown without having to issue any.”


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