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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3242

(Question No. 682)


Senator Archer asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 14 November 1985:

When does the Attorney-General expect the fisheries section of the off-shore constitutional settlement or at least the Victorian/Tasmanian portion of it, will be enacted in view of the opposition to the re-opening of the scallop beds off the north-east coast of Tasmania.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Commonwealth legislation giving effect to the fisheries elements of the `off-shore constitutional settlement' contained in the Fisheries Amendment Act 1980 entered into force on 14 February 1983. That legislation makes provision for joint Commonwealth/State authorities and authorises arrangements with the States for joint authorities, the Commonwealth or individual States to have the management of particular fisheries. The legislation has no application to specific fisheries unless and until arrangements covering those fisheries are negotiated between the Commonwealth Government and relevant State Governments. So far as the Commonwealth is concerned, negotiation of such arrangements is a matter for the Minister for Primary Industry. I understand negotiations are under way between the Commonwealth, Victoria and Tasmania in relation to the scallop beds off the north east coast of Tasmania.