SSPWA inaugural Annual General Meeting

Following the recent incorporation and establishment of the Southern Seafood Producers (WA) Association (SSPWA), the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Association was held Thursday 14 December 2017, at the Stirling Club in Albany. Around fifty members and potential members attended this cornerstone moment for the SSPWA, representing a diverse cross section of the 23 fisheries in the South and South West regions.

New WAFIC Chair Katie Hodson-Thomas addressed the members, with congratulations on reaching this significant milestone, and encouragement to embrace the opportunities ahead of them. The event showcased the progress of the SSPWA to date, celebrated the appointment of the inaugural elected Management Committee, and focused on important issues for the new Association moving forward.

There was a strong sense of commitment from the Association’s members to work with the Regional Management Committee to achieve the common goal of having an empowered, sustainable and economically profitable industry.

There was an interesting debate among license holders, over the merits of WAFIC funding and interaction with the Association, and the need for clear independence in representation for this newly established sector body.  The Transitional Management Committee acknowledged WAFIC’s support and assistance in the formational stage, but committed to an independent pathway for issues directly concerning their sector.

Key discussion points from the SSPWA AGM included:

  • Dr Peter Rogers’ report derived from extensive industry consultation. Commissioned by WAFIC, this report defined the need and support for the creation of SSPWA;
  • The incorporation of the Association, subsequent membership drive and inclusion of the Abalone Industry Association of WA as eligible members;
  • The nomination and election process of the Regional Management Committee
  • The consolidation of the Funding Agreement and next steps;
  • The process for appointment of the first SSPWA Executive Officer;
  • A report on the SSPWA 2017 Summit and commitment from key stakeholders;
  • Key strategy areas which included: Fishery management opportunities/issues, Leadership and engagement, Fisheries adjustment and support, Governance framework and policy development;
  • An update of the recent Herring and Salmon Scientific Workshop; and
  • The need for appointment of an independent Chair

The Transitional Management Committee handed over the reins to the elected Regional Management Committee who were appointed at the AGM along with the Association’s office-bearers. The Metro region will be represented by Mr Peter Rickerby (Treasurer) and Ms Portia Kyros (Secretary), Mr Nicholas Lucas will be representing South West region (with another member to be elected shortly), Mr Don Nicholls and Mr Tony Westerberg (Chair) as Albany representatives and Ms Manue Daniels (Deputy Chair) and Mr Neville Mansted representing the Esperance Region.

The AGM was followed by a sundowner event, to foster open and informal conversations between AGM participants. It was also a great opportunity for industry to network with each other and strengthen the community within the SSPWA.