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Tuesday, 28 April 1987
Page: 2105

Mr HODGMAN(6.00) —In exercising my right to speak on the third reading of the Fishing Industry Research and Development Bill, I commend the legislation, the initiative and the co-operation. I want to raise a matter of considerable importance, and that is the interaction between the Commonwealth and the States, in particular concerning the south-eastern trawl fishery.

I will take the time of the House only to comment that, whilst I recognise the need to contain the number of licences in the south-eastern trawl fishery which extends from New South Wales down the coast of Victoria, around the base of Tasmania and up to South Australia and which covers an enormous area, there is some grave concern in Tasmania-I speak as one who has been involved in the fishing industry as honorary legal adviser to the Professional Fishermen's Association of Tasmania for many years-that the interests of Tasmanian fishermen are now being jeopardised. There are two in particular of whom I am aware. One matter which is before the committee at the moment and which I hope will be resolved is that of Mr Jack Chesterman. The other matter involves Mr Ian Dillon who is desperately seeking two licences in relation to a very substantial investment of millions of dollars.

I know the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Holding), who is at the table, is interested in Tasmania. I would like him to note simply that I will raise the matter with the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Kerin). The Minister at the table may be kind enough to mention to the Minister for Primary Industry that there is a concern. Ray Groom, the Tasmanian Minister, and John Kerin, the Federal Minister, are discussing it at the moment. Mr Kerin has handed back the crayfish section to the State Minister, Mr Groom. In conclusion, I take the opportunity to say that there has been good Commonwealth-State co-operation, but there is a genuine feeling in Tasmania that Tasmanian fishermen are being seriously inhibited and that a little flexibility and discretion in the arrangements would be to the benefit of the overall management of the fishery and, I think, to the benefit of the economy of Tasmania.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.