Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 22
11 September 2014 - Location: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the 22nd meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group.
Key items discussed included:
- RFL Small Grants – Revision of guidelines and funding criteria
- RFL Large and Commissioning Grants – Revision of scoring and assessment
- RFL Large Grants – Timeline for announcement of 2014/15 round and associated advertising
- Update on RFL budget
- Update on Report to Parliament and VAGO audit
- Update on Snobs Creek Advisory Board
- Potential to conduct an independent audit of grant recipients
- 2012/13 Commissioning grant for advisory and communication products.
RFL Small Grants – Revision of guidelines and funding criteria
A copy of the existing 'Small Grants Program – Guidelines and Conditions' was tabled along with a list of issues that had been identified as a result of small grant assessments over the last three months. A constructive discussion was had and the following recommendations were accepted by the RFGWG.
- that cost associated with guest speakers or specialists, promotion and advertising, BBQ's and the provision of food and refreshments for participants, and the purchase of bait and terminal tackle be kept to reasonable amounts as deemed by the RGFWG.
- that project management fees, salaries, travel costs, fishing rods and reels, caps and hats, and sunglasses will not be funded, unless under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the RFGWG.
- that applications involving research projects will only be funded if there is a clear benefit to recreational fishing and that results of the research will be communicated in a clear and timely manner.
- that single event public liability costs will continue to be funded, at the discretion of the RFGWG.
RFL Large and Commissioning Grants – Revision of scoring and assessment
The RFGWG has agreed to maintain the existing guidelines and conditions for the RFL Large Grants, but a revised scoring capability of 1-10 will be incorporated into the assessment process.
RFL Large Grants – Timeline for announcement of 2014/15 round and associated advertising
The RFGWG supported the proposal that the 2014/15 RFL Large Grants Program be opened on the 1st October and close on the 27th February 2015, as has been the case in previous years.
Update on RFL budget
An update on the RFL budget was provided which indicated that, depending on the sales of recreational fishing licences, there would be approximately $1.2 million available for the next large grants round.
Update on Report to Parliament and VAGO audit
The RFGWG was advised that much work had gone into the preparation of the Report to Parliament over the last month and that the associated VAGO audit was exhaustingly comprehensive. Following the audit, the Report was approved and was being printed at the time of the meeting and would be tabled in Parliament in the week beginning Monday 14 September.
Update on Snobs Creek Advisory Board
The RFGWG was advised that a process of direct appointment is being undertaken for seven external and three DEPI members to form the board. An interim meeting was held on 26 August during which the board reviewed the draft Terms of Reference.
Potential to conduct an independent audit of grant recipients
The RFGWG supported the idea of DEPI conducting an independent audit of a sample of previous RFL Large and Small Grant recipients (to be funded using RFL revenue to a maximum of $10,000) and suggested that DEPI may look to sourcing such a service from a regional area (as opposed to Melbourne) as a way to keep costs reasonable.
2012/13 Commissioning grant for advisory and communication products
Information was provided on the status of the existing 2012/13 Commissioning grant for advisory and communication products which identified that most deliverables had been achieved however production of some products such as freshwater rulers and Know Your Limits cards have been suspended while current stocks are used. Any new production will also wait for direction on potential the new Murray cod regulations. As a result there was approximately $42,000 of unspent funds remaining.
The RFWG supported the proposal that the 2012/13 Commissioning grant for advisory and communication products be acquitted and the remaining funds of approximately $42,000 be refunded to the RFL Trust Account, and that the outstanding products be produced as part of the recently approved 2013/14 Commissioning grant for advisory and communication products.
Next meeting: 25 February 2015
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group