Commonwealth Marine Parks – Fishing Business Assistance Package- Final Position

The final position on business assistance to affected fishers and businesses due to the impact of Commonwealth Marine Parks was released on Thursday 13 December 2018 https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/pub/fishing-business-assistance-grants-consultation-report.pdf

The paper contains responses to submissions on the consultation draft which was released on 20 August 2018 (https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/pub/position-paper-fishing-business-assistance.pdf) as well as setting out the final position of the Commonwealth Government in providing assistance.

The Government has declined to consider individual circumstances of affected fishers on the basis that this would add complexity and timeframes for the delivery of assistance. Instead it will make changes to the formula to seek to accommodate the issues raised by industry.

Features of the revised position are:

  • The period of assistance will increase from 4 years to 5 years in making assistance calculations.
  • The profit margin is increased from 25 per cent to 30 percent
  • These changes together, it is claimed, will increase the average assistance payments to individual fishers by 50 percent above that outlined in the August consultation draft.
  • The minimum payment threshold will be decreased from $1000 to $100

Impacted fishers will be sent offers in February next year. The offers will be based on calculations using data held by the Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development with payments expected to be in March.

At about the same time a $5 million first round of “Our Marine Park Grants” aimed at the fishing sector will be opened. Fishing industry representative bodies will be invited to identify grants that address sectoral, regional and national impacts not directly resolved through the direct assistance package. For example this could include assisting the transition to new gear types.

For further information contact Guy Leyland: gleyland@wafic.org.au

Telephone 0417907967