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Fishery Officers - No Confidence In Executive Team

Sunday 6 June 2004

MEDIA RELEASE
ATTENTION:
INDUSTRIAL/ENVIRONMENT REPORTERS

Fishery Officers - No Confidence In Executive Team

''Fishery Officers have passed a motion of no confidence in their Executive Team (ET) following the rejection of a request to support law changes to allow them to carry batons and pepper spray,'' said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today.

“Fishery Officers have been waiting for MFish ET to support law changes to allow batons and pepper spray since an external report recommended they were needed to meet Health and Safety requirements in 2002.”

“The Fisheries Officers are left with using open handed tactics (self defence) when trying to arrest and hand-cuff poachers who always have access to knives.”

“Fisheries Officers also face gaffes, oars, spearguns and chains,” said Martin Cooney. “The higher risk also comes from much higher fines and the ability to confiscate a fisher’s livelihood since 2001.”

“Fishery Officers voted to tell their ET that they had no confidence in their understanding of the dangers faced by Fishery Officers,” said Martin Cooney. “They also have no confidence in their ability to pursue the issue of defensive capability for their staff and have asked the Union to pursue the issue.”

“Fisheries Officers are asking what planet ET is on,” said Martin Cooney. “The feeling is that ET believe not enough Fisheries Officers have been injured or killed for them to do anything yet. Fishery Officers have asked their Union to take steps to persuade politicians and the public of the need for change despite what MFish may think.”

ENDS

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