PZJA orders review of Developmental Permits used for training

At its 31st meeting on Wednesday 3 April, PZJA members agreed to commence a review of how Developmental Permits are used for training purposes in all Torres Strait Fisheries.

The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and Chair of the PZJA, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck said the legislation has always provided for non-Traditional trainers to be included as part of community fishing, but it is timely to provide an opportunity for the community to be consulted on the role of Developmental Permits in increasing access to fisheries by Traditional Inhabitants.

“The PZJA continues to acknowledge and support the aspirations of Traditional Inhabitants for 100 per cent ownership of access to commercial fisheries, and we want to be confident that the

Developmental Permit arrangements are contributing to this goal,” said Senator Colbeck.

The Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Pedro Stephen, said training for the future employment of young Indigenous people in these fisheries is intertwined with ownership aspirations and access to Torres Strait fishery resources.

“Developmental Permits were established to create opportunities for Traditional fishers to be trained and supported as they entered the industry,” said Mr Stephen.

It is expected the review will lead to the creation of detailed criteria, against which any future applications for Developmental Permits will be assessed.  These criteria must also lead to relevant permit conditions so the use of these permits can continue to be assessed to ensure they deliver their intended purpose of training.

The TSRA will lead the review of how to best use the Developmental Permits and it is expected this will be concluded by around September 2019.

The PZJA has agreed it will not consider any further applications for training under Developmental Permits, until new arrangements are established, following the review.

The PZJA also discussed a number of key developments in the management of Torres Strait fisheries, including the release for consultation of draft Harvest Strategies, and total allowable catches for Spanish mackerel and reef line species.

The PZJA is comprised of the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.


Relevant documents include:


Media contacts

Torres Strait Regional Authority: Bruce Nelson, at Zakazukha, 0423 403 449 bruce [at] zakazukha.com 

Assistant Minister Colbeck: Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734

Minister Furner: Ron Goodman, 0427 781 920