CEO & CHAIR Visit WA MP’s re: WA Seafood Industry
The CEO of WAFIC, John Harrison and Chair, Katie Hodson-Thomas, have been meeting with Western Australian Members of Parliament (MP’s) over the last few months as part of an educational campaign concerning Commonwealth Marine Reserves, fisher safety and to encourage support of the industry contributing millions to the WA economy.
“The meetings cover off on two main issues – firstly to advise the support WAFIC has to finalise the commonwealth marine reserves and for the plans to pass,” said John Harrison.
“WAFIC does not support the disallowance motions put up by Labor.”
“It is time to put these plans to ‘bed’ and get on with managing the reserves and to lock in security of access to the areas that the plans provide for fishing.”
The second matter addressed, was to support the passage of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) Levy Bill.
“This bill is nothing more than ‘enabling’ legislation and is not the instrument used to actually determine the levy – this is done through consultation with AMSA and via it’s Fishing Industry Advisory Committee and the Domestic Vessel Industry Advisory Committee.”
“There is a push by the charter vessel industry in north Queensland to delay the passage of the bill – totally unnecessary. Delaying the bill may jeopardise the $102.4m government subsidy over the next ten years on gradual introduction of full cost recovery.”
“This subsidy will allow for discussion and agreement on the extent, structure and framework for cost recovery over the next three years and it will provide for the opportunity to determine what is cost recoverable and what is not.”
Concluding Mr Harrison said that it is critical that those who love Australian seafood are educated in the pivotal role the industry, and people, play in the economy.
“We stand united with the recreational and game fishers in support of this Government’s Commonwealth Marine Reserve plans.”
“We want to be able to continue to support our fishing families who contribute to our local economies by sustainably harvesting fish for others to enjoy.”
“So it is critical that those who love Australian seafood stand up for the industry,” he said.
Both John and Katie, to date, have met with 7 MP’s including the Sen. The Hon J Bishop and Sen. the Hon Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Time restricted the number of matters discussed however concern over biosecurity was raised with some MPs.