GREEN Shirts Movement coordinator Martin Bella is adamant. The grassroots organisation that represents both farmers and fishers is not apolitical.
“We are very political,” Mr Bella told an assembled group of about 50 Green Shirt supporters outside Parliament House today.
“But are not party aligned. We will support anyone that will undertake to put Labor and the Greens last.
“Ultimately vote for whoever you like, I’m not telling you who to vote for, but Labor and Greens last. Hopefully we end up with that mob being kicked out.
“If we’ve made enough of an impact whoever comes into government next will have one eye and one ear on what we are doing.”
Mr Bella said the Green Shirts Movement was ultimately about bringing people together and encouraging people to participate in the political process.
“Don’t go to a barbecue and let someone say something that is totally and absolutely ridiculous,” he said.
“Because everyone by extension will think that person is right because no-one said anything.
“Get out there and fight hard for what you have.”
Much of protest focused on the treatment of Queensland’s commercial fishing industry by the Palaszczuk government.
Commercial line fishermen Lukas Lukaszewick, Cannon Hill, and Shane Card, Redcliffe, say the recently introduced Vessel Management System (VMS) had failed the already highly regulated industry.
VMS is a mandatory GPS tracking system that plots the movement of commercial boats. However, the fishermen said the required equipment was not suitable for use in a marine environment and was prone to breakdowns.
“We have worked for decades to identify the marks (high yielding fishing spots) that are our livelihoods,” Mr Lukaszewick said.
Now we’re are required to give up this valuable knowledge and, even worse, pay for the privilege.
“Now we’re are required to give up this valuable knowledge and, even worse, pay for the privilege.
“We have no confidence in the system. We know the information is not being kept confidential. The information is shared across nine departments and it seems everyone has access to it.”
Mr Card said there had been no genuine consultation before VMS was introduced.
“The so-called consultation meeting was just a direction meeting telling how us the VMS would be installed.
“Despite what the government says, no commercial fisherman wants it. VMS is destroying our industry and its unreliable.”
However, an expected counter protest by vegan extremists failed to materialise. Instead two young people observed the protest from the side.
Daniel, who identified himself as a independent vegan activist, participated in a robust conversation for about 10 minutes with Green Shirts Movement coordinator Martin Bella.
He defended a protest that vegans had staged at the Queensland Children’s Hospital before Christmas, saying no children had been upset by their activities.