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Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Page: 10386

Fisheries


Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (15:09): My question is to the Minister for Sustainability, Education, Water, Population and Communities. Will the minister update the House on developments since his announcement yesterday about changes to fisheries regulations under national environmental law? How do these developments impact on the FV Abel Tasman?


Mr BURKE (WatsonMinister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) (15:09): I thank the member for Hindmarsh for his question. The member for Hindmarsh has been following the issue of the supertrawler very closely for some time and has been making representations about it in detail. Since I referred to the issue yesterday, the legislation has been introduced and is now before the parliament. It is also the case that in the course of that discussion there have been a couple of issues raised extensively as developments that need to be put out of the way straight away for the benefit of all the parliament. The first development is that there has been a claim that a document that was put out independently by AFMA two or three years ago was somehow authorised by me when I was fisheries minister. That, of course, is not the case. It never has been the case and that harvest strategy was never authorised by the minister. That is not how the system works.

Mr Baldwin: You haven't excluded it.

Mr BURKE: The most ridiculous claim is that somehow this legislation is going to have a big impact on recreational fishing as well. I am not aware of a lot of recreational supertrawlers out on the ocean.

Mr Baldwin: It is not about supertrawlers. Read your own legislation, you fool!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Paterson is warned!

Mr BURKE: I do not know that the issue is all that big. I do know that there is a series of amendments, some of which I have put in, and one of which was referred to in the question by the member for Flinders, which clarify once and for all what has always been the intention of the government.

Mr Morrison: Who is the other member?

Mr BURKE: The member for Dobell—and this is where concerns have been raised, including by recreational fishers in the electorates of those opposite. It is the reason the member for Dawson stood up in parliament yesterday and said that he wanted that particular vessel stopped. The amendments will be made to hone down the issue and leave no doubt that we are talking about very specific situations. If anyone wants to claim that they can just vote no and hide behind a recreational fishing argument, that argument will be gone. And people will know when they go back to their electorates, if they vote against the government's legislation, that their recreational fishers will put the issues squarely to them. They may as well be standing on the deck, hauling in the net, if they oppose this legislation.

Mr Hunt: I seek leave to table the minister's harvest strategy from three years ago, calling for large-scale, factory freezer vessels.

Leave not granted.

Mr Burke: I table a letter to me from the member for Flinders asking that I do more to protect the Tasmanian tiger in the Tarkine rainforest.