QLD and NT join forces

QLD / NT join forces to fight illegal fishing
The Northern Territory and Queensland Governments have agreed to cooperate in shutting down illegal fishing activity off the north coast of Australia.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie was in Darwin yesterday to sign a joint agreement to share information on the whereabouts of illegal boats.

Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin says the discussions involved ways to improve local detection and apprehension methods.

“About how we can work more closely together, sharing information about illegal vessels that are in our waters and how we share that information and intelligence between Queensland and the Northern Territory,” she said.

“Remembering all along that it is a Commonwealth responsibility but we can work at that next level down more effectively I think.”

Ms Martin says discussions are continuing with the Federal Government on the use of Coonawarra Detention Centre for apprehended illegal fishermen.

Mr Beattie says the new arrangements will work alongside Commonwealth patrols along the northern coastline.

“If they’re not caught here, they’ll wander on down the Queensland coast,” he said.

“It’s better if we can co-operate here and apprehend because their boats are then taken away and they’re sent home.

“So intelligence is the key to it because then we can pass on the information to the Commonwealth as well.”

ABC Online – Australia

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