John Luxton Announces Timing Of Consultation On Fisheries Reforms (04 Feb 99)
The consultation documents on fisheries reforms on aquaculture, co-management and the better definition of the recreational right would be released later this year, the Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control, the Hon John Luxton said today.
"The detailed preparatory work on the comprehensive consultation documents is proceeding. However, public consultation will be deferred until after the enactment by Parliament of the Fisheries Amendment Bill currently being considered by the Primary Production Select Committee. This approach has been necessary because of the need to prioritise the Ministry of Fisheries' work programme in 1999. We just do not have the resources to do everything at once", the Minister said.
"The first priority for the Ministry of Fisheries this year must be the support of the Fisheries Amendment Bill 1998 through the Select Committee process and the implementation of the resulting Act.
"I also believe that it is important for the Ministry to focus on implementing the "front end" of the Fisheries Act 1996 this year. That is, the parts of the Act that deal with environmental and information principles.
"I am concerned to ensure that the Ministry of Fisheries is able to deliver on its numerous statutory processes at this time of change in the sector," Mr Luxton said.
The Minister also said he was concerned that the Select Committee consideration of the Fisheries Amendment Bill should not be compromised or confused by a parallel process on the further reforms to aquaculture, recreation and co-management. These reforms will be consulted upon before final decisions are taken by the Government.
"They are still important reforms and will serve to enhance the sustainability of our fisheries, despite some current misinformation about the second round of reforms.
"We want quality consultation on these important reforms. Quality consultation, which will lead to quality advice and quality legislation. Cabinet's decision that I have announced today will be an important input into ensuring this," the Minister concluded.