Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee Meeting #13

19 June 2007

Venue: 8 Nicholson St, Melbourne

Chair's Summary


  • Mr Ian Cartwright (Chair)
  • Mr Paul Welsby (Industry member)
  • Mr David Lucas (Industry member)
  • Mr Jon Presser (DPI member)
  • Dr Terry Truscott (alternate for Michael Hodder)
  • Mr Peter Rawlinson (DPI)
  • Mr Gerry Geen (Industry member)
  • Mr Tim Mirabella (Industry member)

Permanent observers:

  • Mr Ross McGowan (SIV)


This was the second meeting of the FCRSC in 2007. The Committee noted that the cost recovery system continues to become more routine and that the process has gained general acceptance with industry. The Committee continued to meet its ongoing role to monitor costs on behalf of industry. New TORs for the Committee have been developed and are close to finalisation.

The twelfth meeting of the FCRSC focused on the following issues:

  • Review of the third quarter Fisheries Management Services (FMS) costs
  • A process to ensure industry was able to have input into the agenda for FCRSC meetings
  • FMS costs and performance indicators
  • TOR Review
  • Flow on financial effects of reduced licence numbers

Review of FMS Costs

DPI presented a review of FMS costs for the first 3 Quarters 2006/07. A comparison was made against the same period of 2005/06 and explanations were provided where significant deviations had occurred. While no unexplained or unacceptable (to the Committee) anomalies were found, it is apparent that this process will be more realistic when comparisons based on longer term rolling averages can be made.

FMS costs and performance indicators

The Committee noted a briefing paper tabled by DPI regarding an array of indicators that could be used to link FMS costs to outcomes. While Budget papers currently have a list of performance indicators, these are at a very broad level and they need to be better integrated with FACS FMS data. It was agreed that a process needs to be developed which better links the budget planning process to the provision of services, which in turn will enable the Committee to be more engaged with forward budgeting and monitoring. DPI and SIV will be working on a framework to address this need.

Review of Terms of Reference for FCRSC

The Committee TOR have been tided up in a number of areas, to reflect the changes and improvements that have occurred during the first three years of its life. The most significant change relates to the role of the Committee in overseeing and facilitating through an industry/government partnership, in the context of budgetary planning, the provision of fisheries management services and research.

Flow on financial effects of reduced licence numbers

The issue of flow-on financial impacts of reduction in numbers of licences and the desirability by industry of consistent costs from one year to the next was again raised. DPI advised that fees and levies were struck on the basis of the number of existing licences. The Committee noted the desire by industry to create some stability in costs and the Chair was charged with writing to the Minister on behalf of the Committee expressing industry concerns and advising on the desirability of setting fees and levies for an extended period (e.g. 3 years)

Other matters

Industry raised a query regarding the Marine Parks Initiative (MPI) funding dedicated to abalone compliance. The Committee noted that these funds were non recoverable. Compliance costs for 2005/06 were in the order of $2.5 million (inclusive of MPI funds used for operational costs and wages and salaries). Of this $540,000 was recovered

DPI agreed to follow up on the process by which the anomalies surrounding the payment of royalties in 2006 as a result in the reduction of quota during 2006/07 in the Western zone would be addressed.