Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Marine Scalefish Fishery

In reply to the Hon. C. BONAROS ().18 October 2023).

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries): I am advised:

The management of commercial fisheries in South Australia, including the marine scalefish fishery, falls under the purview of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA). PIRSA operates in line with its cost-recovery policy, which necessitates that commercial fishery licence fees cover fisheries management costs. To this end, PIRSA engage in ongoing consultations with service providers and industry stakeholders to formulate fishery-based management programs, which in turn influence the annual licence fees.

Within the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of PIRSA, there are 38 compliance officers and 11 fisheries management officers. This count includes the following vacant roles: four fisheries officers, three compliance support officers, one fisheries manager, one fisheries management officer, and the manager of traditional fisheries (who is currently on maternity leave).

For the 2023-24 fiscal year, fisheries management has allocated 220 activity days, and compliance has allocated 967 officer days for the marine scalefish fishery. The costs for these services are assessed to be $201,740 and $1,292,879 for fisheries management and compliance, respectively, bringing the total to $1,494,619. In terms of full-time equivalents, this translates to 1.10 FTEs for fisheries management and 4.84 FTEs for compliance.

As part of the marine scalefish fishery reform and the subsequent incorporation of quotas, there have been changes in the licence fee structure that reflect a licence holder's resource access level.

The new licence fee structure proposed to be implemented in 2024-25, includes 30 per cent of the management expenditure be attributed to a base fee, and the remaining 70 per cent designated to quota unit fees. Each of the four individual transferable quota (ITQ) species will equally share this 70 per cent allocation.

To delineate the lower and upper bounds for licence fees under the new licence fee structure, note:

The lower end comprises the base fee with no quota units, approximately $2,000.

The upper limit is the summation of the base fee and quota unit's cost based on the individual quota a licence holder possesses. For some licence holders their fees will be approximately $40,000 in line with the quota they hold.

Specific figures corresponding to these limits will be ascertained during the 2024-25 cost-recovery process. For more detailed insights into quota unit holdings, one can refer to the Fisheries Public Register at Fisheries Registers—Production—(pir.sa.gov.au).

I would also recommend consulting the PIRSA website, particularly the services to industry page under the cost-recovery implementation statements (CRIS) section for more comprehensive information.