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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2269

Senator BOSWELL(5.46) —Five years is a long time in a business. It is a particularly long time in the fishing industry, in which everyone is fighting for survival at the moment. There is a buy-back scheme arranged by the Government in the Gulf of Carpentaria to reduce the number of fishing trawlers because the fishing grounds are being overfished and have limited resources.

Senator Robertson —There were too many licences to fish granted by your Government.

Senator BOSWELL —That is dead right. There are too many licences and the Government has arranged to buy back some of them, which meets with the approval of the fishing industry. However, it will not achieve anything if, as fast as the licences are being brought back, the fishing grounds are reduced. Five years is a long time. I ask the Minister whether there is any way these fishing grounds could be returned to the industry in under five years.