Such a lot has occurred since the March member update.
Back then SSPWA confirmed that Neil MacGuffie had successfully been appointed under contract as the SSPWA Executive Officer.
Since joining SSPWA Neil has hit the ground running;
· Establishing new contacts,
· Re-establishing many previous contacts,
· Held hundreds of member and industry discussions,
· Been to countless industry related meetings,
· Travelled thousands of kilometre’s (4,000 plus) across the SSPWA member regions from Esperance to Geraldton,
· And importantly, met up with as many current members as possible and welcomed new members.
You may recall that the March update also explained that WAFIC’s funding agreement under the State Government was to expire 30 June 2021, as was SSPWA’s funding agreement under WAFIC. Both agreements have since expired and we’re pleased to advise that - we’re still here operating on behalf of industry and members albeit with some operational changes!
So where to from here – what has changed?
· The SSPWA committee has been working hard holding meetings and many discussions to arrive at a negotiated pathway forward to ensure the Association progresses given current restraints.
· At end of financial year, SSPWA retained the balance of funds and shall receive a GVP amount later this year to assist in funding current and future core activities to 31 December 2021.
· SSPWA continues to operate under the committee and chair assisted by the administration officer.
· SSPWA continues to facilitate, coordinate and manage in person and at meetings consultation ensuring known issues are communicated across all stakeholders.
· The SSPWA finance committee has reviewed and planned a budget through to 31 December 2021.
· As planned, the SSPWA Executive Officer contract ended 30 June 2021.
· WAFIC has since created a position for all southern seafood producers called “Southern Industry Manager” (SIM), this position is remunerated by WAFIC.
· The tasks and duties of the SSPWA EO position and the role of the SIM largely remain unchanged and run parallel, focussing on managed fishery issues, resource access, sustainability and other matters relevant across the regions of SSPWA.
· WAFIC has secured State Government funding to 31 December 2021.
· WAFIC and SSPWA has collaboratively negotiated a transitional funding agreement for SSPWA continued operations for the period 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.
· The SIM shall be available at member and industry meetings and ICU AMM’s and will actively report and participate in SSPWA quarterly committee meetings and at our AGM.
· SSPWA members now (via the SIM) have improved access to central support team in WAFIC where you can feed into and draw upon on those resources when required.
· Under the new arrangement SSPWA reserves the right to conduct a performance review to assess service delivery of which, member feedback and input shall play an important role.
· Importantly, the SSPWA committee have been working hard to re-establish collaborative relationships with the Minister and DPIRD managers for a more informed relationship particularly from a grassroots industry perspective.
· Later this year SSPWA and WAFIC will be investigating potential funding arrangements for 2022 and beyond.
So from the SSPWA committee it’s business as usual in representing members. However, members continued support is crucially important so that we may continue to support our membership aspirations in return.
The key point of liaison with members, commercial fishers and industry stakeholders will continue to be;
· Neil MacGuffie on 0428 609 007 or firstname.lastname@example.org
· Your other option is to make contact with your regional management committee representatives in Esperance, Albany, Southwest or the Metropolitan region,
· Alternatively you may contact Alison Bramwell on 0437 459 902 or email@example.com
Matt Benson-Lidholm JP
Chair Southern Seafood Producers (WA) Association Inc.
12 July 2021