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Fisheries Legislation Amendment (Representation) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

FISHERIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REPRESENTATION) BILL 2017

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Deputy Prime Minister and

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP)

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

FISHERIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REPRESENTATION) BILL 2017

GENERAL OUTLINE

The Fisheries Legislation Amendment (Representation) Bill 2017 (the Bill) amends the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 to strengthen the engagement of recreational and Indigenous fishers in the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries and ensure that the interests of these stakeholder groups are appropriately taken into account in Australian Government decision-making processes .

The Bill provides for explicit recognition of recreational and Indigenous fishers in Commonwealth legislation. It requires the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), who is responsible for the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries, to have regard to ensuring that the interests of all fisheries users are taken into account in Commonwealth fisheries management decisions. Other minor amendments in the Bill allow for increased opportunities for membership of AFMA advisory bodies and extend the eligibility criteria for serving on the AFMA Commission to include expertise in matters relating to recreational and Indigenous fishing.

Recognition of Indigenous and recreational fishers is not currently explicit in Commonwealth fisheries legislation, which primarily regulates commercial harvest of fish stock in Commonwealth fisheries. As users of Commonwealth fisheries resources, it is important that the interests of recreational and Indigenous fishers are considered in Commonwealth fisheries management.

The Bill inserts an additional objective that will require AFMA, the Minister and

the Joint Authorities to have regard to ensuring that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers are taken into account in the context of managing Commonwealth commercial fisheries. The context will dictate whether they are or are not the only relevant considerations to take into account.

The new objective will impose an obligation for AFMA to have regard to ensuring that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers in the performance of its functions. It will not alter AFMA's ability to pursue existing objectives, or to extend AFMA's powers to regulate the recreational and Indigenous fishing sectors. AFMA will continue to balance its pursuit and prioritisation of all the objectives, including the new objective, in exercising its functions.

AFMA will continue to use the best available science and evidence to account for the interests of all users in its management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries. Fisheries management decisions will continue to be made using evidence based science and will be enhanced by formalising and strengthening the representation of non-commercial fishers and their interests on AFMA’s advisory bodies.

OTHER MINOR AMENDMENTS

Increasing the maximum size of AFMA’s Management Advisory Committees from seven to ten (in addition to the Chair and the AFMA staff member) allows the management of fisheries to be informed by a broader range of views. The current size restriction of seven members has excluded relevant stakeholders from member status on a number of Management Advisory Committees. However, maintaining a size of restriction

(of 10 members) will assist these committees to function effectively in providing the independent AFMA Commission with advice. Requiring AFMA to try as far as practicable to seek recreational fishing members that engage in or have experience in the fishery will increase opportunities for recreational fishing input via the Management Advisory Committees. AFMA will continue to conduct public expressions of interest processes to ensure each Management Advisory Committee has the appropriate mix of skills, knowledge and experience to fulfil its role. AFMA will determine how many recreational fishing members are required on a case by case basis. 

Extending the eligibility criteria for serving on the Commission to include expertise relating to recreational and Indigenous matters will enhance the capacity of the Commission to respond to future challenges in fisheries management. The current requirement that Commissioners cannot hold an executive position in a fishing industry association will be extended to include representative organisations for recreational and Indigenous fishers to ensure the independence of the Commission is not compromised.

Consultation on the Bill has taken place with AFMA, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Finance, the Australian Public Service Commission and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. The Commonwealth Fisheries Association, the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s Indigenous Reference Group and the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council were also consulted on the amendments.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

There is no financial impact for the Commonwealth on the introduction of this Bill.

 



 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

FISHERIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REPRESENTATION) BILL 2017

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights

(Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011
.

 

Overview of the Bill

The Fisheries Legislation Amendment (Representation) Bill 2017 amends the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 to strengthen the engagement of recreational and Indigenous fishers in the management of Commonwealth commercial fisheries and ensure that the interests of these stakeholder groups are appropriately taken into account in Australian Government decision-making processes.

The Bill provides for explicit recognition of recreational and Indigenous fishers in Commonwealth legislation. It requires the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to have regard to ensuring that the interests of all fisheries users are taken into account in Commonwealth fisheries management decisions. Other minor amendments in the Bill allow for increased opportunities for membership of AFMA advisory bodies and extend the eligibility criteria for serving on the Commission to include expertise in matters relating to recreational and Indigenous fishing.

Human rights implications

This Bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Deputy Prime Minister and

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources



 

FISHERIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REPRESENTATION) BILL 2017

 

NOTES ON ITEMS

 

Clause 1: Short Title

Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying that the short title of the Act may be cited as the Fisheries Legislation Amendment (Representation) Act 2017 .

Clause 2: Commencement

Clause 2 provides that the whole Act will commence the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

Clause 3: Schedules

Clause 3 provides that legislation specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned and that any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1 - Amendments

Fisheries Administration Act 1991

Item 1 Section 6

Item 1 inserts (1) before ‘the Authority’. This amendment accounts for the inclusion of an additional subsection at the end of this section.

Item 2 At the end of section 6

Item 2 provides an additional objective that AFMA must have regard to ensuring that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers are taken into account.

Item 3 Paragraph 12(3)(a)

Item 3 omits the words ‘following fields’ and substitutes ‘following’. This amendment accounts for inclusion of additional criteria in Item 4.

Item 4 After subparagraph 12(3)(a)(ii)

Item 4 provides for additional eligibility criteria of expertise in matters relating to recreational or Indigenous fishing.

Item 5 Subparagraph 12(3)(a)(ix)

Item 5 omits the word ‘fields’ and substitutes ‘matters’. This amendment accounts for the change in eligibility criteria as described in Item 4 to extend beyond expertise in specific fields.

Item 6 Subparagraph 12(3)(b)(i)

Item 6 provides restrictions on the appointment of commissioners who hold an executive position in a fishing representative organisation (however described). This amendment ensures consistency of restrictions imposed on executives of commercial and non-commercial fishing organisations.

Item 7 Subsection 12(5)

Item 7 omits the word ‘fields’ and substitutes ‘matters’. This amendment accounts for the change in eligibility criteria to extend beyond expertise in specific fields.

Item 8 Paragraph 60(1)(c)

Item 8 omits the word ‘7’ and substitutes ‘10’. This amendment provides for the increase in maximum size of management advisory committees from seven to 10 (in addition to the Chair and the AFMA staff member).

Item 9 Subsection 62(3)

Item 9 repeals subsection 62(3) and replaces it with new text that requires AFMA to try as far as practical to have memberships of commercial and recreational fishers on management advisory committees.   

Item 10 Application provisions

Item 10 provides for the changes in eligibility criteria for the appointment of commissioners made on or after commencement of this item. It also provides for changes to the make-up of management advisory committee (size and membership) to apply to committees established on or after commencement of this item.

Fisheries Management Act 1991

Item 11 At the end of paragraph 3(2)(d)

Item 11 inserts an ‘and’ at the end of the paragraph. This provides for the inclusion of an additional paragraph at the end of this section.

Item 12 After paragraph 3(2)(d)

Item 12 inserts an additional objective that AFMA, the minister and any Joint Authorities established under the Act must have regard to ensuring that the interests of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers are taken into account.