Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee Meeting #22

10.30am Tuesday 21 June 2011

Venue: DPI 1 Spring St, Melbourne Vic 3001.

Chairman's Summary


  1. Ian Cartwright – Independent Chair
  2. Geoff Ellis (Industry member)
  3. Vince Collins (Industry member)
  4. Ross McGowan (SIV) – Permanent Observer
  5. Terry Truscott (DPI member)
  6. Mark Edwards (DPI) - Observer
  7. Robert Krix - Executive Support
  8. Chris Padovani – Administrative Support


Bill Fisher, Principal Economist, Economics and Policy Research Branch, DPI

Emma Ansell, Economist, Economics and Policy Research Branch, DPI

Bill Lussier, Manager Marine Fisheries & Resource Planning

The meeting was the first Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee (FCRSC) in 2011. Key issues discussed included:

  • Progress towards forward budgeting and the FACS review
  • FCRSC nominations

Progress towards forward budgeting and the FACS review

The Committee has previously endorsed a DPI/FV proposal to conduct a Cost Recovery Review which is being done by DPI's Economics and Policy Research Branch (E&PRB) to under the direction of, and in collaboration with Fisheries Victoria, with regular consultation with the FCRSC. The project is designed to consider all means of improving the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the current fee and levy setting approach for cost recovery from industry. The review will place particular emphasis on moving towards implementing an up-front (prospective process) approach to setting levies for planned management services to be delivered during the forthcoming year(s), rather than the current process for recovering costs after the fishery management services (FMS) have been delivered (a retrospective process). The project includes a review of the Fisheries Activity Costing System (FACS).

An update on progress of the review was provided by Bill Fisher, Principal Economist, DPI's Economics and Policy Research Branch. Industry has assisted in the development of, and embraced the principles of cost recovery, and, through the FCRSC, has strived to ensure accountability for the FMS provided. The Committee reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, the principles being used in the cost recovery review should be consistent with the existing and agreed cost recovery principles identified in the FCRSC Terms of Reference. It was agreed that this is the case.

The forward budgeting model that it is intended will replace the current cost recovery system is still in the planning stages and requires a number of issues to be worked through. These issues include the need to develop processes for dealing with "overs/unders" for year-to-year adjustments, and a way of ensuring that industry would not be charged twice for the provision of FMS for any licensing period during implementation.

The Committee again noted that the current agreement with government on royalty and cost recovery in the abalone fishery limited the total amount payable/recoverable from the abalone sector in the form of royalty/costs to 7.21% of GVP of the fishery.

DPI will continue to consult with FCRSC and will be scheduling a meeting of FCRSC to seek further feedback on concepts and proposals prior to the completion of the Draft Report. A consultation process with industry will also be undertaken prior to implementing any recommendations arising from the completed review which is expected to be completed during December 2011.

FCRSC appointments

The Committee noted that Seafood Industry Victoria was in the process of providing the Minister with a further two nominations for his consideration for potential appointment to the FCRSC.