By Michael Giles
I would be among the first to bemoan Victoria as the ‘Nanny State’ for all the bans, rules and regulations there are on the use of public land, beaches, waterways and roads.
But, it’s time, I’m afraid to ban recreational rock fishing altogether in the notorious Punch Bowl area, near San Remo.
It’s an absolute tragedy that another fisherman has gone missing there over the weekend, feared drowned of course, but at the time of going to press, emergency services had not been able to confirm the likely outcome.
How many people have died there in the past couple of decades? I don’t know but it would have to be at least one-a-year or more in that time.
And at the risk of being called a racist, many of those tragic deaths involve new arrivals to Australia, or at least new to the area, unaware of the imminent danger despite plenty of warning signs.
In other words, it’s time to protect people from themselves and ban recreational rock fishing in the Punch Bowl area altogether, and to levy heavy fines for those caught fishing there – say $1000 a time.
The message would soon get around.
Our emergency service personnel do amazing work and we all hope they turn up when we come to grief but it’s an expensive operation and must certainly cost many thousands of dollars when these incidents occur.
There are a lot of people who have fished safely and happily in this area for many years but enough is enough. There are plenty of safer places to dangle a line.