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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3978


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats)(12.58 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

(1)   Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before item 1, insert:

1A Subsection 4(1)

   Insert:

      precautionary principle has the same meaning as in clause 3.5.1 of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, a copy of which is set out in the Schedule to the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 .

1B Paragraph 6(b)

   Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

      (b)   ensuring that the exploitation of fisheries resources and the carrying on of any related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle, in particular the need to have regard to the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the long term sustainability of the marine environment; and

(2)   Schedule 2, page 6 (before line 4), before item 1, insert:

1A Paragraph 3(1)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

   (b)   ensuring that the exploitation of fisheries resources and the carrying on of any related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precau tionary princi ple, in particular the need to have regard to the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the long term sustainability of the marine environment; and

(3)   Schedule 2, page 6 (after line 27), after item 4, insert:

4A Subsection 4(1)

   Insert:

   precautionary principle has the same meaning as in clause 3.5.1 of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, a copy of which is set out in the Schedule to the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 .

(4)   Schedule 2, page 7 (after line 21), after item 12, insert:

12A Subsection 17(1)

   Repeal the subsection, substitute:

   (1)   Subject to subsection (1A), AFMA must, in writing, after consultation with such persons engaged in fishing as appear to AFMA to be appropriate and after giving due consideration to any representations mentioned in subsection (3), determine plans of management for all fisheries.

   (1A)   If, in all the circumstances, AFMA is of the view that a plan of management is not warranted for a particular fishery, AFMA may make a determination accordingly, including in the determination its reasons for making the determination.

   (1B)   A determination under subsection (1) must be notified:

      (a)   in the Gazette ; and

      (b)   to all persons and organisations listed in the register established under section 17A, at their addresses as shown on the register.

12B After subsection 17(2)

   (2A)   In addition to issuing a public notice under subsection (2) and before determining a plan of management for a fishery, AFMA must notify the persons and organisations listed in the register established under section 17A, at their addresses as shown on the register, of the terms of the public notice.

12C After subsection 17(6C)

   Insert:

   (6D)   A plan of management for a fishery must contain provisions for the incidental catch of non-target commercial and other species to be reduced to a minimum;

12D After section 17

   Insert:

   17A Register of persons concerned about plans of management

   (1)   AFMA must maintain a register containing a list of the names and postal addresses of persons and organisations who are to be notified of draft plans of management.

   (2)   As soon as is practicable after the commencement of this section and on each anniversary of that commencement, AFMA must give public notice:

      (a)   inviting persons and organisations to have their names and postal addresses entered on the register; and

      (b)   in the case of the second or a later notice—inviting persons and organisations on the register (if any) to have their names and postal addresses left on the register.

   (3)   A notice must state that the acceptance of an invitation:

      (a)   is to be in writing, sent to AFMA at a place specified in the notice and accompanied by particulars of the name and postal address of the acceptor; and

      (b)   is to be given:

         (i)   in the case of a person, or organisation, in existence on the publication of the notice—within one month after that publication; and

         (ii)   in any other case—within 12 months after that publication.

   (4)   Where a person or organisation accepts an invitation in the way required by the notice, AFMA is to enter, or retain, the name and postal address of the person or organisation on the register.

   (5)   AFMA may vary the address on the register of a person or organisation at the written request of the person or organisation.

   (6)   AFMA must remove the name and address of a person or organisation from the register if:

      (a)   in the case of a name and address that was on the register before the most recent notice under subsection (2)—the invitation to keep that name and address on the register was not accepted within one month after the publication of that notice; or

      (b)   the person or organisation makes a written request for the removal; or

      (c)   AFMA becomes satisfied that:

         (i)   in the case of a natural person—the person has died; or

         (ii)   in any other case—the person or organisation has ceased to exist.

   (7)   In subsection (2), a reference to public notice is a reference to a notice published:

      (a)   in the Gazette ; and

      (b)   in each State and internal Territory in a newspaper circulating generally in that State or Territory; and

      (c)   in each external Territory that the Minister considers appropriate (if any) in a newspaper circulating generally in that external Territory.

I will briefly explain these amendments. Amendments Nos 1, 2 and 3 add in the necessity to ensure that fisheries are managed in an ecologically sustainable way, with particular reference to the necessity for the precautionary principle to be adhered to in order to minimise the by-catch of both non-target commercial and other species. The overall sustainability of the marine environment, I believe, will be the great beneficiary.

Amendment No. 4 requires AFMA to maintain a register of interested parties to be notified when plans of management are being formulated, so that they can have some input into this process. It requires the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to consult widely to determine plans of management for all fisheries under its jurisdiction and, in those situations where a plan of management is not deemed to be warranted, for AFMA to be required to provide reasons for such a decision.