Your safety matters in QBFP
Aggression and violence from vessel owners, operators and fishers towards us and our colleagues is becoming more common.
We've all had experiences where we have been worried we might not make it home to see our loved ones at the end of a shift.
We've been threatened, yelled at, spat at, pushed over and assaulted. It's not good enough for the Department to continue sending us into these dangerous and often remote situations without appropriate powers, protective gear, information and an effective duress system that could keep us safe.
For over a year now, the Department has been sitting on a WHS report they asked for, that details just how dangerous our jobs can be and makes a bunch of recommendations including an Information Sharing Agreement with QPS, amendments to inspector powers, increased penalties for obstruction offences and additional offence provisions which deal with aggressive behaviour.
The report also recommend the immediate trial of some operational self-defense equipment, which is successfully carried and used in most other states.
The Department's own independent assessor said that the use of this kind of defensive equipment has proved to be highly effective in mitigating aggression and violence towards Fisheries Officers in other states and found no evidence of downside risks. You can read the risk assessment here.
The union sent a letter to the DG Beth Woods on our behalf yesterday. As your union delegates we’ve been asking for the Department to implement the recommendations outlined within the report for months, but they just aren’t listening. We know that the only way to force the Department to take our safety seriously is by being strong in our union.
Every day we come to work to keep Queenslanders safe on our waterways and to protect our precious fisheries resources for future generations. At the end of the day, we all just want to go home in one piece to the people we love.