WAFIC CEO Letter to Members

I’m pleased to advise that WAFIC is making significant headway in its requests for the WA Government to provide a dedicated support package for the seafood industry.

It’s been interesting talking with members and industry sectors over recent days as some businesses are still holding onto their market share, while others have been seriously impacted.

For me, this highlights the need to secure a strategy that isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so we minimise the risk of industry members falling through the cracks.

As such, WAFIC has been working closely with our sector bodies to develop a holistic long-term support package that is designed to provide immediate support to cashflows through the deferment and/or waiving of government fees and charges, followed by additional support to help the industry quickly re-establish its domestic and international sales pipelines post-recovery.

A third element is included to provide specific support to those members or industry sectors that may require additional attention as we emerge from this economic downturn.

As an outcome of WAFIC’s lobbying, we have been provided with an opportunity to meet directly with the Premier, our Minister for Fisheries and a number of other relevant Parliamentary members to present our industry recovery package. This meeting is scheduled for Wednesday and I will update you later in the week with directions from that meeting. As a necessity our recommendations are broad-stroke and a lot of work will be required to enable a government response from a policy, legislative and legal basis. We will work closely with government to achieve the best outcomes.

In addition, WAFIC is setting meetings with the Directors General of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, as well as Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation to negotiate operational activities that can support the industry and stimulate business post-recovery. While this is early stage, it’s important to secure funding that will allow planning for trade activities over the coming months.

There is a lot of information out there on COVID-19 stimulus and support packages, and a lot is not relevant to the seafood sector, so we are working with our partners to develop a package of more concise and relevant information for the seafood industry.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has been quick to respond and has developed an online reference tool with industry information and analysis that is written in an easy to understand format and updated regularly.

Check it out at: http://covid19.cciwa.com

I appreciate that these are unsettling times for many of our members, but you can be confident that the WAFIC Board and staff are committed to working hard and fast to establish a solid and reliable platform for members to consolidate their buinesses and have the confidence to keep moving forward.

Feedback is an important part of this process, so please keep WAFIC informed on any relevant issues through your sector bodies as we work through this together.

I’ll update on the outcomes from the Premier’s meeting as soon as possible.

Best regards.