Fisheries Management Advisory Committee Fees
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. Will he consider adjusting fees paid to Fisheries Management Advisory Committee [MAC] representatives so that they keep pace with changes in the consumer price index? Why has the MAC fee of $150 not been increased for a number of years so that these important representatives in industry are better resourced to carry out their duties? How can he justify not adjusting that fee when this Government does not hesitate in raising its revenue annually by increasing the 92 fisheries fees and charges so that they change in line with the consumer price index?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: I am aware that matters similar to those raised today by the Hon. Jennifer Gardiner have been raised with the department. The director-general advised that in the past MACs have been given the opportunity to consider an additional charge, but there has not been general support for that proposal. In my experience, most committee members undertake this role because they have a genuine interest in creating a better industry, not because they want large payments. The Government has made a commitment not to increase total cost recovery for traditional services in commercial fisheries, but if industry recommends an additional charge I will give it proper consideration.