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Commonwealth Marine Park Compensation Response

Things to know:

The Commonwealth Marine Parks were implemented on July 1 2018. During a SSPWA Meeting in Busselton, it was requested that an independent person be funded by WAFIC to develop a proposal on the behalf of industry. SSPWA contacted WAFIC to establish this request. The SSPWA then organised meetings across the South Coast to take the WAFIC funded Dr Peter Rogers and Guy Leyland to industry meetings to develop a proposal that was supported by WAFIC, SSPWA, Demersal Gillnet and Demersal Longline and Esperance Licence Fisherman's Association for submission regarding the compensation for WA. This proposal featured a number of elements, including:

  • The concept of linking the Australian Sea Lion Exclusion Areas with the Commonwealth and State Marine Parks for compensation, including State Government involvement;

  • Critical that licence holders be eligible for compensation;

  • Acknowledgement that the margins for vertically integrated companies increased the profit margin that should be apportioned for compensation;

  • A “fishers only funding” allocation to be made available within the Business Assistance Package; and

  • Compensation be distributed across the Licence Holders evenly.

All except for point five was accepted, which includes the State Government support for the concept in point 1.

A compensation package was supposed to be in place prior to implementation, then by end of November, however it is still under discussion. In December there was a meeting held in Melbourne. The SSPWA requested a West Coast meeting, however were advised that WA people were able to link in by Teleconference.The teleconference technology could not handle the number of calls which lead to the Director of Marine parks agreeing to the SSPWA request to come to WA to discuss at a face to face meeting. The advice is for WA industry to agree an outcome that it can transition toward, with a commitment for consideration by the Commonwealth and State, in acknowledgement of the compounding factors in WA. An Industry meeting is to be conducted to discuss the desired outcome, prior to Marine Parks Director, James Findlay meeting with WA industry. More information to come. Should you wish to discuss this issue further, please contact Don Nicholls on 0457 735 638 or at

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