COMMERCIAL FISHERIES REFORM PROGRAM CONSULTATION PERIOD EXTENDED
Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has announced an extension for submissions on a series of options papers which propose changes to the commercial fisheries industry.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has extended the closing date for submissions on the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program to 5pm, Friday 30 May, to allow commercial and recreational anglers – and other interested members of the community – more time to prepare a submission.
Mr Fraser said the NSW Government is currently undertaking a comprehensive consultation process as part of the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program, which aims to improve the long-term viability of the commercial fishing industry.
“This is a difficult time for commercial fishers and I understand and acknowledge the angst and uncertainty associated with the proposed reforms,” Mr Fraser said.
“Following the close of the consultation period, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will comprehensively study the range of views put forward during the consultation process, in order to make these options as fair as possible.
“None of the key decisions have been made and it is important that fishers use this consultation period to advise how they believe the options could be best modified or improved.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has allocated $16 million to assist those commercial fishers wanting to leave the industry to do so, in the form of exit grants.”
The Commercial Fisheries Reform Program was developed in response to an Independent Review into NSW Commercial Fisheries Policy, Management and Administration in 2012.
Mr Fraser encouraged all stakeholders to help select the best approach to manage and improve the viability of the NSW commercial fishing sector, and maintain the supply of fresh local seafood to restaurants, wholesalers and people who do not fish recreationally.
“DPI Fisheries Managers completed a series of port visits along the NSW coast during the last fortnight, including Coffs Harbour, Mr Fraser said
“I have personally spoken with commercial anglers and have communicated their concerns to the Minister for Primary Industries.
“The issues are complex and some major concerns have been raised during the consultation process. I strongly urge commercial and recreational anglers, and other interested members of the community, to carefully examine the options papers and make a submission.”
The options papers and further information about the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/commercial/reform
13 May 2014
For media comment contact Andrew Fraser on 6652 6500.