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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1836 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 February 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science
Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Tabled Paper No: 2625- View tabled paper
Question

(1) Will the Minister confirm that the Lobster Management page of the Department of Fisheries website displayed as at 9 January 2019 details the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery catches for the season 2010-2011, showing Commercial Target Catch (TACC) 5,500 tonnes, Commercial Catch 5,001 tonnes, Recreational Target Catch 290 tonnes, Recreational Catch 150 tonnes (estimated)?
(2) Will the Minister explain why the Lobster Management page of the Department of Fisheries Website fails to provide corresponding details of the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery catches for the seasons 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018?
(3) Will the Minister provide those missing details plus the details for season 2018-2019 of Commercial Catch Target (TACC) and Recreational Catch Target?
(4) Will the Minister confirm that the Department of Fisheries is about to issue or has already issued to the Western Australian Government 162,177 quota units and an associated quota of 1,385 tonnes, equating to approximately 16,000 new pots?
(5) Will the Minister confirm that the action of the Department of Fisheries described in (4) above will have the effect of nationalising the Western Australian Rock Lobster Industry to the extent of 17.3 per cent of the industry?
(6) Will the Minister table the scientific study or studies which have given the department confidence that the action of the Department of Fisheries described in (4) will not result in harm to rock lobster stocks and will not undermine the viability of the industry in any way?
(7) Will the Minister table the full record of consultations conducted by the Minister and by Department of Fisheries officers with representatives of the rock lobster industry prior to announcing the action described in (4)?
(8) According to the most recent figures available to the Minister, what is the total number of West Australians directly employed in the rock lobster industry and what is the total number of boats deployed by the industry in rock lobster fishing?
(9) Will the Minister identify the jurisdiction or jurisdictions where a policy of partial nationalisation of the lobster industry has been implemented and will the Minister table any or all reports held by the department on the result of such partial nationalisation?
(10) Will the Minister table all relevant correspondence which led to the department's actions described in (4), commencing with the first memo or letter or note or email or minute of meeting containing a suggestion or proposal or recommendation that quota units or a quota tonnage be issued to the Western Australian Government or any one of its instrumentalities?
(11) Will the Minister itemise the revenue which the Western Australian Government has received from rock lobster industry participants through royalties, access fees and other sources during each of the past financial years commencing 2010-2011?
(12) Will the Minister table the estimates of annual revenue which the Western Australian Government expects to receive henceforth from rock lobster industry participants through royalties, access fees and other sources.?
(13) What is the total revenue which the Western Australian Government now expects to receive annually from its nationalised portion of the rock lobster industry?
(14) What studies has the department undertaken to assess the effect of the government's plan upon the borrowing capacity of lobster fishers?

Answered on 11 April 2019

(1) Yes
(2) This information is published annually in the State of the Fisheries Report (Status Reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia); which are available on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – Fisheries (Department) website.
(3) This information is publically available in the State of the Fisheries Report with the 2016-17 report the most recently available. For both 2017-18 and 2018-19 the Total Allowable Commercial Catch was 6300 tonnes. The recreational catch target for the period 15 October 2017 to 14 January 2019 was 507 tonnes, which incorporates the move to a 12 month season for the recreational sector.  
(4) No
(5) Not applicable
(6) Not applicable
(7) The record of consultations has been released by the Western Rock Lobster Council on or around 20 December 2018.  A copy is hereby tabled.
(8) An ACIL Allen Consulting report prepared for the Western Rock Lobster Council in December 2017 entitled “Economic contribution of the Western Rock Lobster industry” estimated that in the 2016-17 financial year there were 878 direct FTE jobs, and a further 1,558 indirect FTE jobs. At present there are 233 vessels undertaking commercial fishing in the West Coast Rock Lobster Managed Fishery.  
(9) In Western Australia fisheries stocks belong to the community, this is the case in many jurisdictions around the world.
(10) Not applicable
(11) [See tabled paper No.]
(12) The forward estimate for access fee revenue from the West Coast Rock Lobster licence holders for the 2019-20 financial year is $23.3milliion, assuming a total allowable commercial catch of 6,300 tonnes. Estimates for the period post 2019-20 are subject to relevant commercial catch settings.
(13) Not applicable
(14) Not applicable