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Nocturnal Fishing Ban in Wellington Point, Redlands City Council


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I would like to advise the fishing community of an extremely concerning new fishing prohibition recently enforced by Redlands City Council. Ramifications are social and legal.

It is extremely disappointing that some public servants working for this council, whose jobs could not exist if we -the rate payers - did not foot their generous salaries, created and/or used  laws to limit our fundamental rights of Australian citizens,  Queenslanders and local residents to take a legal fish from the water of the Pacific Ocean at the only time can fish as we are people working at day light time and unfortunately, we can't control tides and moons yet to go fishing when council prefers it.

This is what happened to me, few days ago:

I and other few fellows were on fishing on Wellington Point Jetty, probably slightly before 10PM  It was total silence. A private guard turned out. Politely, the guard told us that he was working for Redlands City Council and he had received orders to send everyone away because the park was closed from 10PM to 4 AM. Eventual fine for offenders: $ 278.

We were shocked also because none of us ever noticed any prohibition sign and it sounded so odd pushing away decent people fishing in silence from a jetty built on our income and company tax plus super costly council rates.

However, the prohibition sign, which refers to the word "park" exists. It is close to a newly installed infrared security camera and despite not readable or easily noticeable at night without illumination the sign is practically useless as psychologically, none expects bans of this kind. Demonstration: out of 30-50 people in the park at that time, zero people knew that it was prohibited (and 100% after being informed, became enormously disappointed).

The day after, I complained via email to Council that it was unfair prohibiting access and shore fishing to decent people not making any noise at all, not littering, not doing anything illegal and I asked to explain me, who owned Main Road, car park, jetty and boat ramps. We do not have boats and we work during day light time. We live in the area. Now Council wants to tell us that it is council to decide when we can fish from shore. This in  in areas built also with our money. 

A Council employee responded by saying the there was Local Law 4 . On the base of this local law, Council can prohibit -that is their  interpretation- access to Main Road (a state owned road), car park, jetty (received at least one state grant) and boat ramps by putting a sign at the entry of the park indication the permitted time of access.

I assume that all of us has nothing against any council reasonably wanting to protect grass, trees and wanting to guarantee that turf and certain park assets are not used at late hours. However, one thing is organising a midnight party of 50-500 people on the council grass every days and nights and one thing is having some people silently walking on the footpath and the jetty to put a sinker and hook in the water. 

Would be our squid jigs able to substantially to prevent the marine life to regenerate after that mega-tons of toxic chemicals are produced by our society and dumped -more or less directly- in riverways?   No.

Do we damage assets? No.

Do we litter? No.

Do we make sound above the permitted limited? No and in particular sound is the enemy of any fisherman!

In my opinion, this new prohibition is in conflict with many fundamental principles of our most important laws regulating our society. Even if  it could stand at legal level, it would be  clearly wrong under the social aspect.

There are thousands of fishermen, who complained they cannot use the boat ramp any more and there are a few hundred of us fishing from shore.

The boaties' complaints may be probably opposed by council on the ground of permissible decibels. However, an electric motor would save all problems and the council access denial to boat ramps is probably legally arguable as it impacts other laws. 

I cannot see any problem with shore fishing at night.

Laws are created to regulate society and make it sustainable. There must be strong reasons and a solid legal base to ban someone from putting a a squid gig or a boat in the water or a ban is deeply wrong.

Feedback must be produced or silence is equivalent to consent. 

Any fisherman-lawyer interested in this matter out of there?

 

Below, detailed Council's explanations.

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Thank you for your email dated 20 August 2021 where you raised questions in relation to access to the Wellington Point Reserve for the purpose of fishing from the jetty after 10.30pm.

Council would advise that in accordance with Redland City Council’s Local Law No.4 (Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities and Roads) 2015 all Redland City Council Parks and Reserves including the Wellington Point Recreation Reserve are closed to the public from 10:00pm to 4:00am. A person must not enter or remain in the local government controlled area outside the opening hours unless the person is authorised to do so by the chief executive officer.

While I understand your explanation for being in the reserve outside the opening hours and understand that your activity was no more than fishing from the jetty the Wellington Point Recreation Reserve closes to the public at 10pm. Council would further advise that as you enter the Wellington Point Recreation Reserve there is signage erected at the entrance which advises the public of the opening hours.

Council would advise that Local Law No.4 (Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities and Roads) 2015 states in section 7 the following –

7             Opening hours of local government controlled areas

               (1)          The local government may, by subordinate local law, declare the times when a

                              local government controlled area is open to the public (the opening hours).

(2)          A person must not enter or remain in a local government controlled area outside the opening hours unless the person is authorised to do so by the chief executive officer.

Maximum penalty for subsection (2)—20 penalty units or $275.00

(3)          If the local government declares the opening hours for a local government controlled area under subsection (1), it must place a notice showing the opening hours at each public entrance to the area.

 

Redland City Council grants access to the jetty from 4am to 10pm however outside these hour the Wellington Point Recreation Reserve is closed to the public. Council would advise that there are many other areas within the Redlands area where fishing activities can be carried out between 10pm and 4am.

I would advise that Main Road Wellington Point is a Council controlled road. The infrastructure your refer to parking bays, jetty, beach and boat ramps all come under Council’s jurisdiction and are subject to the requirements of the local law.

 

 ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Ed. said:

Did the council say why they did this other than "because they can"? Were there complaints or anything put to the council?, and what is the name of the council employee responsible for changing/enforcing this.

You can bet it will be a classic case of a few morons spoiling it for everyone else. Council probably got sick of cleaning up needles, broken bottles and who knows what and decided to shut it down. What a shame.

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Hey @Marco.  I have had a brief read of the local law and some recent amendments.  I do not think the law itself is recent, although given your experience it has probably only begun to be enforced recently.  

In my opinion legal challenge would be too costly and ineffective at best.  

Your best bet is to lobby council for an amendment/exception for that particular local government controlled area.  This would probably also require alot of public and/or media support to be effective.

Do you fish here regularly?  Is this the first time you have been directed to move on after 10pm?

Cheers Kat

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That's the redlands way. Lock it all up and let no-one in. They love it. 

That council has been a shambles ever since Eddie past away. He was a good bloke. Loved by many. 

 

This country seems to be falling slowly into a controlled state. 

Our very constitution is being used a toilet paper by these public servants. 

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19 hours ago, Drop Bear said:

Why would they enforce this? 

Probably due to @rayke1938and @kmcrosby78comments above.  What I am interested in is whether the enforcement is a new thing or whether it has been going on for a while.  I think if members take note there will be a number of signs up restricting night time access in the Redlands Bay area - the rule says the notice must be placed in the entrance to the "controlled area".  Maybe AFO ers can take note when they are in such an area after hours or during non-restricted hours  and report back on whether there are signs and whether it is being enforced in that area.  Would be interesting to find out.  If there are infra red Cameras watching the areas I presume they have hired a private security company to manage access via cameras?

Along with all of the coronavirus restrictions on fishos it seems there are now ridiculous power tripping officials enforcing local laws harming no one.  In my opinion policing the boat ramps in the latest lock down was absolutely ridiculous given fishos make a point to fish at a distance due to line tangle etc!  The day the lockdown started I went to a local small grocery store and literally couldn't move in the store due to the sheet number of people - no social distancing there!

anyway that is my rant.  Maybe this should be moved to a different forum 😜

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This is actually nothing new. I don’t agree with it but there have been signs about park access hours at Wellington point for some time. Assuming some recent incidents have resulted in stricter enforcement. Bogans ruin stuff for everyone. 😣

 

interesting that the local law applies to any park which would mean potentially most boat ramps within the Redlands could be affected under the same law.

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