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Temporary Fishing Closure in Port Pirie

15th September 2020

Port Pirie Regional Council is seeking clarification following the announcement overnight of a temporary fishing closure in identified areas of Port Pirie River and adjacent waters.

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) announced a 12 month fishing closure will be implemented in waters adjacent to Port Pirie effective from midnight last night based on new information from a recent University of South Australia report.

“To be very clear, the health of our community is utmost in everybody’s minds,” Mayor Leon Stephens said.

“However, this news has come as a shock to us.”

Council is concerned that there was no local consultation or input sought before PIRSA’s decision to impose bans was taken and would like to gain a greater understanding of the basis for such significant action and importantly, what this means for the future.

Mayor Stephens said: “Our community will want to understand what has triggered such a response given it is common knowledge there has been more than 100 years of port and smelter operations immediately adjacent to the river. To our knowledge, there have been more than 60 studies since 1979 that have looked at sediment quality in the Pirie River and we understand that the catch of commercial fishermen are also routinely tested.”

“We have sought a meeting with Minister Basham to be advised of the basis for this decision but we will also seek assurances that the further investigations identified by PIRSA are undertaken very promptly and that the local community is made aware of the outcomes and any actions that will result.”