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Monday, 9 December 2002
Page: 7528

Senator O'Brien asked the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, upon notice, on 7 November 2002:

(1) On what occasions has the Australian Indonesian Ministerial Forum Fisheries Working Group met and can details be provided of these meetings, including dates, locations and participants.

(2) What is the role of the Working Group.

Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Marine Affairs and Fisheries Working Group, under the auspices of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum (AIMF), was established by Ministerial agreement in 2001. The Working Group has met once since its establishment, in Jakarta on 10 April 2002.

Various Australian Commonwealth Government officials including officials from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA) and various Indonesian Central Government officials, primarily from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), attended this meeting. The next Working Group meeting is scheduled to take place prior to the forthcoming AIMF, currently scheduled for early 2003.

(2) The role of the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Working Group, as agreed to by Australian and Indonesian officials in April 2002, is as follows:

· To provide a forum for the discussion of marine affairs and fisheries issues that are of mutual interest and are related to the following themes:

(a) Poverty Reduction;

(b) Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;

(c) Marine, coastal and small islands development and management;

(d) Marine and fisheries research;

(e) Fisheries management;

(f) Aquaculture;

(g) The marine environment;

(h) Marine biotechnology;

(i) Fishery products, safety, quality, product development and trade promotion;

(j) Education, training and capacity building; and

(k) Other marine cooperation.

· To facilitate practical cooperation on priority issues.

· To facilitate cooperation on commercial matters.

· To provide a progress report to the AIMF, reviewing the effectiveness of cooperative actions.