Public consultation on policy direction for training under PZJA Developmental Permits
The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) is seeking public comment on a draft Developmental Permit for Training Purposes (Training Permit) Policy for Torres Strait fisheries.
In April 2019, the PZJA agreed to review the use of developmental permits for training purposes in Torres Strait fisheries. The PZJA decided that until stakeholders had considered the draft policy and a final policy implemented, no new permits providing exemptions under existing policy will be considered.
Developmental permits have previously provided the means for Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) licenced operators to engage non-traditional inhabitants on their vessels to provide training or advice in relation to fishing techniques.
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the policy is intended to provide a transparent process under which all future developmental permits for training purposes will be assessed.
“We understand the concerns some stakeholders have had with previous issuing of training permits in the fishery,” Mr Stephen said.
“As a member of the PZJA, I want to ensure that the TIB sector has the opportunity to continue to increase its capacity to access commercial fisheries resources in the region.
“However, this needs to be assessed within a clear and transparent decision-making framework for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Chair of the PZJA, Jonathon Duniam, said the Australian Government supports Traditional Inhabitants in the Torres Strait.
“A formalised Developmental Permit for Training Purposes Policy will provide stronger safeguards for Traditional Inhabitants’ access to commercial fisheries,” Minister Duniam said.
“The PZJA encourages all TIB licence holders and community members to provide feedback on the draft policy during the public consultation period.”
Submissions can be made until 29 February 2020. The draft policy can be viewed at pzja.gov.au.
Feedback can be provided to the TSRA Fisheries Programme at fisheries [at] tsra.gov.au () or by phoning 07 4069 0700.
The PZJA is comprised of the Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.
Torres Strait Regional Authority: James Aspen, 07 5607 0899
Assistant Minister Duniam: Chris Medhurst, 0410 600 400