Cranky? Who - Me?
  |  First Published: December 2002

I KNOW that you’re supposed to get more mellow as you get older, but this tendency is generally countered by an increasing intolerance of fools. It’s easy to suck a stubby, chill out and be cool. But sometimes you just have to get a little cranky!

When you turn on the box and are assailed by the sabre rattling of George Dubbya or a super-sincere spiel by a Premier who could give lessons to Steve Irwin on overacting, you get the feeling that there must be many people out there who don’t know they’re being grossly patronized on a nightly basis. We’re being audaciously informed that Queensland is the ‘Smart State’, which is an initiative that any thinking Queenslander would applaud, but you don’t have to look very far behind the façade to find the same old ‘hillbilly’ mentality still pervades much of the government.

Just take a look at Rod Harrison’s ‘Water Wars’ editorial in the November issue of Fishing World. How can our governments throw hundreds of millions of our dollars at the symptoms when the fundamental causes and ludicrous anomalies mentioned in Rod’s article are ignored?

Politicians and government agencies still think they can pull the wool over everybody’s eyes by using tough-sounding rhetoric sprinkled with the latest in political acronyms – particularly the all-encompassing environmental cure-all, ESD (Ecologically Sustainable Development). Hey, you can bulldoze all the trees you like, pump the river dry and catch as many fish as you can (before somebody else does) – as long as you go around chanting the magic words, “ESD, ESD, ESD!”

The only thing ‘smart’ about the Smart State is some of the promotional material it’s producing. I recently received my latest copy of Fish, QFS’s glossy contribution to the government propaganda.

The Northern Territory supports its burgeoning recreational fishery with an updated and information-packed 66-page Fishing The Territory 2002 brochure included free in the latest NAFA. Queensland anglers are instead presented with a quarterly document informing us that QFS is a department packed with Santa Claus clones who liberally sprinkle us with gifts all year round. I know which one I’d keep for future reference!

What’s got me cranky is that the QFS - in particular the Fisheries and Boating Patrol and the proposed Gulf licence buy-out - has been recently starved of funds, supposedly because of the government contribution to the trawl buy-back scheme. Yet the dollars necessary for an obviously expensive publication in departmental self-promotion appear as if by magic.

You’d have to be dumb to reckon wasting money like that was smart!

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