Fishing industry environmentalist Joe McLeod at the wheel, with Bob Irwin, Carole Gillies and Queensland party leader Aidan McLindon.
Fishing industry environmentalist Joe McLeod at the wheel, with Bob Irwin, Carole Gillies and Queensland party leader Aidan McLindon. Renee Pilcher

Bob says pollies are ruining Aus

“THE major parties are just ruining our country and I’m not going to stand by and let that happen,” veteran conservationist and potential election candidate Bob Irwin said at Tin Can Bay yesterday.

Described by one blogger as too decent for politics – too sincere and too smart – he said he had still not made up his mind about running for the new Queensland Party in the crucial Ashgrove electorate.

But he made a splash anyway as he conducted a marine press conference on the issues he considers most important – the Fraser Straits Marina plan, coal seam gas and the future of Australia.

“I’ve put a fox among the pigeons haven’t I?” he said, clearly pleased to be kicking out at the major parties which he says are ruining our lives.

“I’ve got a lot of things to consider,” Mr Irwin said, as his hired boat pulled out from Norman Pt’s wildlife central, Barnacles Cafe, where only people power stopped the State Government from outlawing the Bay’s much loved dolphin feeding institution, apparently to get the dolphins out of the way for the marina plan.

“It’s not just about my future. I’ve also got to consider the effect on Queensland, the people of Ashgrove and I’ve got to think about my mates down here, the dugongs and turtles and dolphins,” he said.

He accused state and federal governments of having their environmental priorities inside out, blaming fishermen for impacting the environment, but allowing the marina plan to threaten major fish breeding and dugong feeding grounds nearby.

“They won’t let you chop down a tree in your backyard, but the same people let coal seam gas companies clear huge areas for mining.”

“The major parties treat Australia like it’s their own private game of Monopoly,” Bob Irwin said at Tin Can Bay yesterday.

“I’m angry, frustrated and disillusioned. I just can’t believe that a government would be prepared to absolutely destroy our future.”

Ashgrove, already a focal point of the coming state election, is held by locally controversial ex-Environment Minister Kate Jones, who is directly associated with unpopular beach vehicle access fees and the continuing claimed mistreatment of Fraser Island dingoes.

As part of the Bligh Government she is also closely identified with the marina plan, which has her department’s approval.

“The environment, food security and water; those are the three big issues that will determine what kind of Australia we leave to our grandchildren,” he said.

He said the marina will stir up acid mud which will affect dugong seagrass pastures and fish breeding areas in the creek.

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