I seek leave to make an explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation on the subject of compensation for marine parks.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As honourable members would be aware, the marine park sanctuary zones and other management zones came into effect on 1 October. I have been contacted by a number of holders of fishing licences and casual and part-time employees who will be impacted by the zones. I note that, on 13 April 2011, the then minister for the environment, the Hon. Paul Caica, wrote to industry outlining a number of matters in relation to displaced effort, fishery adjustment and the like, including several paragraphs on compensation.
The first dot point under that is a direct quote of section 21 of the Marine Parks Act. Dot point two states that:
- Compensation will be determined by the Minister for Environment and Conservation on a case-by-case basis.
Dot point three states:
- Any commercial fishing licence holder whose entitlement has been compulsorily acquired will be offered fair and reasonable compensation.
Dot point four states:
- Any commercial fishing licence holder that believes their statutory right has been affected, but whose entitlement has not been compulsorily acquired, may make an application for fair and reasonable compensation. The application must set out the reasons for such an application.
And the fifth dot point states:
- The Government may provide further guidance as to the application procedures and other matters through either published administrative procedures and/or regulation (including a three-month application period).
On the DEWNR website, the information is fairly identical, under the page 'Displaced commercial fishing'. So, in effect, there is no information available since 2011. My questions for the minister are:
1.What compensations are available, not just to fishing licence holders, but casual part-time employees and other people who may be impacted and who will lose fishing grounds as a result of the implementation of the sanctuary zones on 1 October?
2.Is there an advice line that people may contact or a form that they may fill in for compensation?
3.Why were the guidelines not finalised prior to the implementation date of 1 October?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:30 ): I thank the honourable member for her most important question about the government's very important marine parks and sanctuary zones. I could take half an hour to again tell the council why they are so very important, but I think we can just go back and read the Hansard.
The Hon. M.C. Parnell: Be expansive!
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The Hon. Mark Parnell encourages me to be expansive, but today I suspect I might just answer the question very directly, and that is this: draft marine park statutory authorisation compensation regulations will shortly be released for targeted public consultation. I have said in this place previously, Mr President, that those guidelines were always envisioned to be developed after 1 October. I have also said in this place commercial fishers have asked the government for these regulations to help provide the industry with certainty regarding the process for consultation. It is important to distinguish this aspect of the regulations under the act from, for example, displaced catch buyout.
The displaced catch buyout is a separate process; we have undertaken a voluntary buyback for that process. That has worked very successfully, as I entertained the council with yesterday. This other aspect of compensation goes to some other person who has a commercial interest who can defend a position that they have been harmed somehow, and can back that up with evidence. They have, under the act, an ability to go and ask for compensation. Those regulations are being processed now. They will certainly be going through a targeted consultation process and we will have them out publicly as soon as we can.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ( 14:32 ): Supplementary question: in the meantime, is there a telephone number, or an email, or a particular person that these individuals are able to contact for further information?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:32 ): There are some directions on our website about who they can contact in the department for general questions. I have been engaging with the peak bodies on this matter; they are the ones who have encouraged me to progress the regulation, and that is exactly what we are doing.