Qld tops for il­le­gal fish­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON EX­CLU­SIVE christie. an­der­son@ news. com. au

QUEENS­LAND re­mains a hotspot for il­le­gal fish­ing, con­tribut­ing to the third most lu­cra­tive crime in the world, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

Fig­ures from the Aus­tralian Fish­eries Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity re­veal more than half the il­le­gal for­eign fish­ing ar­rests in the coun­try in the past year were in Queens­land wa­ters.

Dur­ing the 2016- 17 pe­riod, 15 boats were ap­pre­hended in Aus­tralia, with eight of them ( all Viet­namese) be­ing off the east coast of Queens­land.

Il­le­gal fish­ing is the third most lu­cra­tive crime in the world, be­hind weapons trafficking and drug smug­gling. Crest line trail Con­nect­ing trails Look­outs Amenity, dog off- leash ash area, and park­ing area ea MOUNT Louisa is set to be trans­formed into a recre­ational area fit to ri­val Cas­tle Hill.

The city’s love affair with the iconic land­mark is be­hind a Townsville City Coun­cil pro­posal to open Mount Louisa to recre­ational users.

The coun­cil will seek com­mu­nity feed­back on the plan to de­velop the area to be used for ac­tiv­i­ties such as walk­ing, cy­cling and hik­ing.

Mayor Jenny Hill said while the at­trac­tion of Cas­tle Hill was in­dis­putable, the rise in pop­u­lar­ity of ac­tive life­styles meant it was in dan­ger of be­ing loved to death.

“With our per­fect year­round weather and beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral sur­rounds, it’s no sur­prise Townsville lo­cals love to get out­doors and get ac­tive,” Cr Hill said.

“While Cas­tle Hill is a lo­ca­tion of choice, we need to strike a bal­ance be­tween pro­tect­ing the nat­u­ral val­ues and beauty of the hill and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourists, walk­ers and recre­ational users.

“Mount Louisa, with its el­e­va­tion, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and views, of­fers a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate an al- ter­na­tive to Cas­tle Hill and, in the process, a po­ten­tial new tourism des­ti­na­tion for the city with open space for recre­ation, health and fit­ness and look­out points.

“Coun­cil’s vi­sion for city­wide growth comes with the need to cater to all ar­eas of the city, and the po­ten­tial to open Mount Louisa for public recre­ational space is a great out­come for res­i­dents and visi­tors to the sur­round­ing sub­urbs.”

Pro­fes­sional dog walker and owner of Dogs About Townsville Meg Wil­liams said many of her clients were based in the Kir­wan area, so it would be great to have other recre­ation op­tions nearby.

“It’s good there is now go­ing to be some­thing where my clients are,” she said.

“Cas­tle Hill does get pretty crowded es­pe­cially when you have cars as well be­cause it’s a nar­row windy road.

“I hope the coun­cil in­cludes ar­eas where dogs can have a drink, some poo bag dis­pensers with a bin and then public toi­lets for peo­ple.”

Cr Hill said de­tails of the con­sul­ta­tion for­mat would be re­leased soon and feed­back from stake­hold­ers such as de- velop­ers, land­hold­ers, fit­ness groups and clubs would be a fea­ture in the Mount Louisa Open Space Mas­ter Plan.

“The con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod will be ex­tremely im­por­tant in pro­vid­ing res­i­dents with in­put into the de­vel­op­ment of the mas­ter plan and I urge ev­ery­one to get in­volved,” she said.

“Townsville City Coun­cil will also meet with res­i­dents and de­vel­oper groups to seek their feed­back dur­ing the en­gage­ment process.”

BRIGHT FU­TURE: A map of the draft Mount Louisa Open Space Mas­ter Plan.

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