Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:18): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding southern zone rock lobster. Can the minister confirm that the Malinauskas government will not be providing further fee relief to southern zone rock lobster licence holders this coming financial year, despite no change in the export situation with China?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:18): I thank the honourable member for her question. She, of course, is referring to the fact that the Malinauskas Labor government, whilst we were still in opposition, made an election commitment to provide fee relief for one year to the two rock lobster fishers who were affected by the downturn in China.

I am very pleased that we have seen, on the federal scene, some positive steps. The federal Minster for Trade, the Hon. Don Farrell, was in China recently and there has been a reasonable amount of media coverage of that. Shortly after that, we saw the tariffs on timber being lifted, which is a positive sign. I am hopeful that in the not too distant future we might see similar lifting of tariffs or other impediments to trade with China and that would include, for example, for our wine industry as well as for our rock lobster industry. The fee relief was for one year.