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One voice essential to land a strong future.



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One voice essential to land a strong future

DAFF04/235M 29 November 2004

The fishing industry must agree on a united direction and voice if it is to address concerns over its future direction and sustainability.

Addressing the National Prawn Industry Conference in Cairns today (Monday, November 29), Australian Fisheries and Conservation Minister Senator Ian Macdonald said he was confident the industry could continue to prosper for generations.

"The industry needs a coordinated strategy to showcase to people the big steps forward that are being taken on the environmental front," Senator Macdonald said.

"The Australian Government wants to keep a very light hand on the tiller to ensure that all responsibilities that relate to the management of Australia's fisheries resource, and the required accountability to the Australian public, are met.

"But the overall direction of the fishing industry must be left to those who know best - those fishing and farming families.

"But for this approach to work it means that industry must have clear communication with government. If everyone is pulling in a different direction a vacuum develops and it is left to Government employees to make decisions that will not be good as those that will be made with a high level of industry input."

Senator Macdonald said the theme for the conference, The Next Phase, indicated that industry was not going to lie down and bemoan the fact that operating conditions are currently tough.

"The strengthened Australian dollar, substantially higher fuel costs, increased competition from imported vannamei prawns, and the ever-present challenge of demonstrating sustainability has made things tough," he said.

"It is this never-say-die attitude that has seen many Australian industries built out of seemingly nothing but determination and good ideas, and will deliver continued economic prosperity to the nation.

"Change has never been easy, and it never will be. But in many cases it is unavoidable and those who are left behind or who refuse to change with the times are likely to find themselves on the scrap heap and talking about the good old-days, whilst watching their contemporaries of old move on from strength to strength."

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: David Crisafulli 0400 144 483

http://www.mffc.gov.au/releases/2004/04235m.html

© Commonwealth of Australia 2002 | Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry | Other DAFF Ministers | Prime Minister