In 1999, the Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture approved the National Policy for the Translocation of Live Aquatic Organisms- Issues, Principles and Guidelines for Implementation (Bureau of Rural Sciences 1999). To meet the intentions of that policy, all Australian states and territories were required to develop translocation guidelines for their jurisdiction that achieved:
- consistency in the consideration of translocations within Australia;
- effective coordination of administrative arrangements;
- appropriate supporting legislation;
- acceptable levels of compliance;
- a nationally accepted, explicit and transparent risk assessment process;
- regular assessment and continuous improvement of risk management strategies; and
- increased community and industry awareness of the potential risks associated with the translocation of live organisms.
These requirements are implemented by the Guidelines for Assessing Translocations of Live Aquatic Organisms in Victoria (2009). The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide a risk assessment and administrative framework for the assessment of proposals to translocate live aquatic organisms into and within Victoria.
DEPI shall mean the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
Guidelines shall mean the Guidelines for Assessing Translocations of Live Aquatic Organisms in Victoria (2009) as they may change from time to time.
TEP shall mean the Translocation Evaluation Panel.
Member shall mean a person appointed to the TEP by the Secretary, DEPI or delegate.
ToR shall mean these Terms of Reference.
The TEP is established under the Guidelines by the Secretary, DEPI and reports through The Victorian Fisheries Authority to the Secretary, DEPI.
The role of the TEP is to provide advice to the Secretary, DEPI or delegate on the management of risks associated with proposed translocations.
Specifically, the TEP will:
- provide advice to the Secretary, DEPI or delegate on proposed translocations not previously approved;
- provide advice to the Secretary, DEPI or delegate on each translocation protocol during its development; and
- provide advice to DEPI if it disagrees with an administrative assessment by DEPI that a translocation application complies with an approved translocation protocol or is a low-risk translocation.
Members of the TEP are appointed to provide expert advice about the translocation of live aquatic organisms. Membership will include:
- up to four non-DEPI persons with combined experience in aquaculture, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, fish habitat and aquatic species conservation;
- up to five representatives from DEPI with combined expertise in aquaculture, fish stocking, fish habitat, aquatic animal diseases and disease management, aquatic ecosystem management and aquatic species conservation.
The Chair is selected from the non-DEPI membership of the TEP and will ensure that the TEP fulfils its role.
The Chair reports, as requested by the Secretary, DEPI, or delegate on the operation of the TEP and the results of its deliberations.
The Secretary, DEPI, or delegate may approve an alternate Member for each Member appointed to the TEP.
A person nominated for appointment as a Member (or alternate Member) of the TEP is not a Member of the TEP until appointed by the Secretary, DEPI, or delegate.
Term of appointment
Members (or alternate Members) remain Members of the TEP for such a term of office as the Secretary, DEPI, or delegate determines.
If no term of office is determined by the Secretary, DEPI or delegate, a Member (or alternate Member) remains a Member of the TEP until they resign or are terminated.
Attendance of alternate Members
Alternate Members may only attend meetings of the TEP when the Member for whom they are the alternate is not in attendance.
A Member (or alternate Member) of the TEP must submit a resignation in writing.
A Member's (or alternate Member's) appointment may be terminated by:
- mutual agreement of the Member and the Secretary, DEPI, or delegate
- four weeks notice given by either party
- immediate notice if in the opinion of the Secretary, DEPI, or delegate it has been determined that the Member is not a fit and proper person.
If a Member is unable to attend a majority of meetings in a year, then the Chair (after consultation with the Secretary, DEPI or delegate) may recommend an alternate person with the appropriate level of expertise be appointed.
The office of a Member becomes vacant if a Member:
- is removed under these ToR
- is incapable of performing his/her duties
- becomes a bankrupt or a person disqualified from acting as a director or acting in the management of a company.
TEP Members, or alternate Members, may receive sitting fees for attendance at TEP meetings. Members and alternate Members who are employees of the Victorian Government are not eligible to receive sitting fees for TEP meetings.
Travel and personal expenses of Members (or alternate Members) are paid at rates that are consistent with those described in the Guidelines for the appointment and remuneration of part-time non-executive directors of State Government boards and members of statutory bodies and Advisory Committees.
Where a Member has a direct or indirect interest in any matter of business before the TEP, which may be construed as personal financial or other gain, that interest shall be declared to the TEP.
Where a Member so declares, the Chair may:
- refuse the Member the right to speak to the business
- refuse the Member the right to vote on that business
- require the Member to withdraw from a meeting for the period of discussion and resolution of that business.
A Member shall not be subject to the Pecuniary Interest provisions where the interest is solely the recovery of the cost of services or goods to the TEP.
A Member shall not be subject to the Pecuniary Interest provisions where the interest is solely related to the Members employment.
The Secretary, DEPI or delegate and Secretary, DEPI may nominate observers to attend meetings of the TEP. Observers may participate in discussions at the invitation of the Chair.
The TEP meets as required by the Chair.
Meeting agendas will be circulated at least five business days prior to the relevant meeting.
Meetings are managed by the Chair who will determine the pace and length of deliberations on agenda items. The Chair will ensure that every Member has adequate opportunity to participate in the discussions.
Minutes of meetings will be circulated to the Members or alternate Members for comment no more than ten working days after the meeting.
Minutes from previous meetings should be formally adopted at the following meeting.
The TEP may consider translocation applications, risk assessments and other business out-of-session or in meetings, as determined by the Chair. Translocation applications and associated documents for consideration will be distributed in accordance with these ToR.
Unless alternative arrangements are made, the DEPI will distribute translocation applications and associated documents by email. Members and alternate Members require access to email communication unless alternative arrangements are made with the Chair.
In accordance with the secrecy provision of the Act and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988, deliberations of the TEP are strictly confidential.
The responsibility to maintain confidentiality lies with the Members and alternate Members.
Members, alternate members and observers must not disclose information that relates to a translocation application or may reveal the identity of a translocation applicant.
Members and alternate Members may discuss with their respective groups or organisations issues before the TEP that are not confidential but may not discuss any deliberations of the TEP or circulate any meeting agendas, minutes, papers or other materials publicly without the consent of the Chair.
The DEPI will provide administrative services to the TEP.
Reporting relationship to advisory bodies
In providing advice to the Secretary, DEPI or delegate, the TEP must not, without consent of the Secretary, DEPI or delegate, communicate its advice to anyone other than DEPI.