Chairperson's Summary #60
Meeting date: Friday 18th September 2020
Meeting Location: Zoom Meeting
Previous Roundtable actions/ Follow up.
OUTSTANDING/ONGOING ACTIONS (from previous meetings)
NEW ACTIONS – Arising from Meeting #59
Macquarie Perch rescued from Buffalo River following the bushfires suffered some mortalities as a result of the fires. Work has been done to relocate these fish. Report to be provided for next meeting.
Previous Roundtable actions/ Follow up.
Macquarie Perch rescued from Buffalo River following the bushfires suffered some mortalities as a result of the fires. Work has been done to relocate these fish. Report to be provided for next meeting.
NEW ACTIONS – Arising from Meeting #60 –18th Sept 2020
The Terms of Reference for the RFL Review Working Group to be circulated to the members of the SRFR
Dallas to follow up with Rob Loats on the provision of information that can be extracted from that Ernst & Young report to assist Rob with social and economic values of recreational fishing advocacy.
Joel to provide the details of the Communications presentation to be circulated to the SRFR members.
Minutes from Meeting #59 accepted.
VFA Update - Travis Dowling
This is a really exciting time around Victoria. Half of the “Stonker Trout” have gone into the Goulburn with good reports of catches, and the other half to go in at a later date. Freshwater storages around the State have been filling, indicating a productive season.
Good reports are coming out of Queenscliff and St Leonards of whiting and calamari catches.
The situation for opening up for fishing in the lockdown area is still pending Government announcements.
Follow Up Actions –– Dallas D’Silva VFA
The links to the DHHS website and Covid 4 step plan are on the VFA website and outline the long term plan as well as the short term plan relating to infection numbers over a 2 week period.
The Minister has approved a brief from the VFA to oversee a three month review of VRFish commencing in October to be completed by the end of the year. The review will be guided by a working group that will be working under a Terms of Reference. The working group will comprise Dallas D’Silva, Director of Fisheries, David Kramer Future Fish, Julia Menzies Chair of the SRFR, Terry George ATF, and Rob Loats and Mike Burgess both from VRFish. A survey will also be conducted to help support he review and provide opportunity for input from the recreational fishing sector.
In response to a question from Steven Relf, Dallas noted that the review was of the operations of VRFish. Steve also asked that the Terms of Reference for the RFL Review Working Group to be circulated to the members of the SRFR.
Rob Loats commented on the demise of the South Australian rec fishing peak body and recommended that the same not happen with VRFish. Victorian anglers need a strong, vibrant peak body.
Russell Conway asked if VRFish and advocacy is to be reviewed, who on the working group committee has some knowledge about advocacy? Dallas responded that the VFA will oversee and co-ordinate the review, and there is a lot of expertise and knowledge within the working group.
NEW ACTION: The Terms of Reference for the RFL Review Working Group to be circulated to the members of the SRFR.
One of the key recommendations of the Marsden Jacobs study was to develop a forward-looking strategic plan to guide RFL investment for the next 5-10 years. There was an initial meeting of the Strategic Plan Working Group who will develop this plan, and the VFA is keen to reactivate that group in the near future to progress development of the Plan. Andrew Hodges from the VFA will assist with this. He has vast experience with strategic planning. Once the Strategic Plan is developed it will be shared with the Roundtable and with the broader fishing community.
Terry George commented that he is a member of the Strategic Plan Working Group. The scope of the task as presented at the initial meeting did not meet with all members expectations. It is important that the Working Group, the Minister’s office and the VFA can all agree on the scope of the review so that the review can get under way. Dallas responded that the scope would be discussed when the Working Group meets.
Mid-size Grants & Improved Reporting – Brian Mottram VFA
Improved reporting was another recommendation from the study. There was a recent meeting with the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group. A quarterly reporting process has been introduced and will continue to be refined to ensure that it meets the needs of the group. There will also be more detailed reports of annual deliverables from the VFA, VR Fish and Fishcare.
The Mid-size Grants are almost ready to launch. There are guidelines for the $5000-$50,000 grants. There is still some legal work being done by DoT to format the contracts that will be used to formalise these grants to ensure protection of both the angling clubs and the VFA. This grant program is due to be launched in October.
Fish Stocking 19/20 – Brian Mottram VFA
We are heading towards 10 million fish to be stocked in the season ending 31 March 2022.
Brian provided graphs depicting salmonid stocking since 2015.
The VFA continues to work well in breeding the fish at Snobs Creek and getting them into the waterways. The VFA continue to improve processes about how and where we stock fish to give them the best chance of survival.
Salmonids stocked includes the fry stocked into waters in the north-east. This substitutes the work that has been done with Jordan Scottys over recent years.
Eggs spawned from 2015-2020 were also shown indicating the yearly increase in eggs available. We aim to stock 1.5 million trout next year.
Not a lot of natives have been stocked at this early stage of the season but more information on these will be available at our next meeting in November.
Recreational Fishing Programs Newsletter
The first edition of the Recreational Fishing Programs newsletter was recently issued to all Roundtable members featuring The Big Trout Cod and Brown Trout. Lighting and info boards will be installed.
Works are under way to renew the administration complex at Snobs Creek to be completed by December.
The newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis.
Events have not been able to take place in their normal format but we recently held a digital event for the opening of trout season that is usually celebrated with the Ballarat and Eildon Trout Festivals. We are looking to run further online events for Vic Fish Kids and conferences until we are able to return to face-to-face events. The on-line events so far have been popular.
The recipients of the Large Grants have been announced with a number of new projects getting under way.
Freshwater Fisheries – Michelle Wenner VFA
Michelle has recently taken up a role as Fisheries Manager and is currently filling Taylor Hunt’s role as Freshwater Fisheries Manager while he has 2 months off on Paternity Leave.
Over the last few years Inter Valley Transfers have increased due to a growth in irrigated agriculture and drought. These flows are concentrated mainly from December to June, a time that is critical to the recruitment and spawning success of many of our native species. We know that these flows are having substantial effect on in-stream and riparian habitat, erosion, turbidity and limited migration. The review of these rules was set to come into place at the end of this year but have now been pushed back to July 2021 and the interim rules will continue to apply for this season. The VFA is doing all that we can to get the best outcome from the review.
Rob Loats spoke of the independent assessment of the social and economic value of the condition of the Murray-Darling Basin. It has severely understated the social and economic value of recreational fishing in the region. There is an issue with Shire Councils wanting to take water for use on parks and sporting grounds. The Ministers report was based on adequate water flows. Rob questioned where he could access the most recent Ernst & Young report into social and economic values of recreational fishing. Dallas responded that the study was done and completed but will be used by the VFA as an internal working document. There is some information that can be extracted from that report that Rob could used in his advocacy.
NEW ACTION: Dallas to follow up with Rob Loats on the provision of information that can be extracted from that Ernst & Young report to assist Rob with social and economic values of recreational fishing advocacy.
Southern Bluefin Tuna – Dallas D’Silva VFA
There is a meeting on 30 September of all State and Federal Fisheries Directors which is a group called the Australian Fisheries Management Forum. Since the Commonwealth announced the 5% allocation for recreational fishing in May there has been no meeting of AFMF or just prior, so no consultation. The VFA is disappointed with the process for setting the SBT allocation. The main concern of the VFA is that the under the Commission rules the Commonwealth has to manage recreational fishing rules to no more than 5% so it is effectively a cap on fishing.
New Native Fish Hatchery - Anthony Forster VFA
The hatchery capital budget has secured $4.6 million in capital funds from the Treasurer 1 month ahead of schedule. We can now move forward with tender specifications to get physical works started on the property. A market engagement plan has been completed and approved by DoT in respect to the earth works contracts. We have an expression of interest process underway for the earthworks that will go out in the w/c 21/9. We are on target to have a contract secured by the end of November and should start soon after that. Building design and work will follow the earthworks. All work and infrastructure should be completed by October 2021.
Maps were provided showing Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the development
Robert Loats asked what was the main priority – funding for the 2nd stage or for the visitors centre. Rob offered the support of VRFish to lobby for funding. Anthony responded that funding for the hatchery would assist with shared infrastructure.
Adrian Tran raised the opportunity to establish a small market garden fertilised by runoff from the ponds with its products used in the kitchen of the visitors centre.
Ron Lewis asked if protection from cormorants had been considered. Preliminary estimates on bird netting have been obtained.
Communications – Joel Peterson VFA
This year, nearly a quarter of all social media posts on VFA platforms have been directly related to RFL spend, most of which get the RFL ‘badge’. Next time people go to buy or renew their licence, what the fees go toward is front of mind. It’s not just another ‘government tax’. We have around 70,000 followers on Facebook, 17,000 on Instagram and 1000 on Twitter. Posts have been restricted this year under COVID. Last year to August we had 522 posts, but this year only 320 for the same period.
Other work has included an expanded web presence to “close the loop” on RFL projects while still telling other great stories. Closing the loop also includes media releases, sent to outlets across the state
We have 25,000 subscribers to our Nibbles newsletter.
Tom Camp asked for the details of the Communications presentation to be circulated to the SRFR members.
NEW ACTION: Joel toprovide the details of the Communications presentation to be circulated to the SRFR members.
RFL Sales and Marketing – David Grisold RFLGWG
It is possible that RFL income will drop by $1 million this financial year due to the COVID situation in Victoria. It is important for Victoria to sell more licenses. By comparison NSW license sales are growing, presenting the question of why Victoria’s sales are falling. Good work that is done with RFL money and social media to tell the story has not equated to increases in sales.
Members of the SRFR could come back to the group with any ideas on how to sell more licenses and curb the current trend.
Tom Camp commented that recommendation #5 in the Marsden Report was to sell more licenses.
Mike Burgess commented that VRFish had noted the decline in license numbers. There are a number of underlying issues that need to be looked at closely. In other States post COVID they are experiencing a massive increase in regional travel.
David Grisold added that people aren’t asked to buy a license. The latest figures show that 1 million people are fishing but only 250,000 have bought a license, meaning that a quarter of the fishing population is supporting three quarters. This is unfair and unequitable. This needs to be rectified before numbers of RFL sales drop further. The value of a license needs to be explained to anglers. Under 18s could be given a free license. This would get them registered and when they turn 18 would simply move to a paid license. We need to engage more with anglers.
Rob Loats noted that in NSW Seniors need to buy a license but not in Victoria.
David Kramer commented that he runs the tackle store that sells the most licenses in the State, and during the month of May 2020 they sold three times the number of licenses that they sold for that month in 2019, again in June 2020 they sold almost three times the June 2019. He does not see the decline.
Adrian Tran spoke of the option to make administrative changes to ensure that licenses are renewed.
WIRF – Karen Rees
The WIRF Leadership Program for 2020 had 22 applicants with 10 selected ranging in age from 21 to a lady in her 60s. They have a really broad range of skills and interests. The Program was run on a digital format over 5 nights with a variety of speakers from all areas of the industry and a roundtable forum chaired by Julia Menzies. The highlight was probably the new Leaders meeting the old Leaders on the final night.
Following on from that there has been the launch of sessions that occur once a month for an ongoing discussion and training program to help keep the ladies engaged while there are restrictions on contact and events. Daiwa were the guest presenters at the first meeting and would like to collaborate with us to get more women involved in fishing and to help promote the WIRF Network. A Working Group is being established for this. The guest presenter at the second meeting was Renae Ayres from ARI.
Online chapters of WIRF are being established. These were going to be face-to-face and probably will be in the future.
Belinda Yim has done a great job establishing the WIRF Network. She will be going on 12 months maternity leave at the end of October.
Snobs Creek Advisory Board – David Kramer – Future Fish
A media release has been issued stating that Victoria’s most important fish hatchery is threatened by clear fell logging by VicForests. As Chairman of the Snobs Creek Advisory Board this is offensive and couldn’t be more wrong. The Snobs Creek Advisory Board has spent a considerable amount of time this year on risk management and identifying risks. We have put in place a comprehensive Risk Register. This is only recent work but the staff at Snobs are reviewing risks and managing risks. We take Risk Management really seriously. So to say, as quoted in this media release, “already this year turbidity levels have been averaging two times higher than the level regarded as being safe. At this rate the hatchery will find it increasingly difficult to properly function”.
The hatchery is functioning perfectly and there is no mention in this media release that by
May this year we had already had the same rainfall there as was received in all of 2019. As an Advisory Board we have regular updates from VicForests, we have toured the area, and at every quarterly meeting we discuss the logging above Snobs Creek.
This appears to be an anti-logging group using the Snobs Creek Hatchery as a reason to stop logging. Everyone should be aware that the logging is not having an effect on the Snobs Creek Hatchery.
Rob Loats concurred with David Kramer’s comments and pointed out that roads are the main cause of turbidity. Mike Burgess commented that VRFish had also met with VicForests and reviewed their practices and will continue to work with VicForests over any issues raised by anglers.
VRFish Update - Mike Burgess
* VRFish endorsed as State Sport and Recreation Body by Sport and Recreation Victoria.
* Crown Water Frontage Access Campaign
* Ben Scullin starting in new position of Advocacy and Member Coordinator
* New free individual membership category launched
Report on Advocacy and Representation:
- Liaison and promotion with coastal CMAs for Federal rec fishing Fish Habitat Restoration Program Grants. There is a number of projects submitted from Victoria. $8 million over 4 years. This funding was an election commitment arising from the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation advocacy.
- AGL Crib Point Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Environmental Effects Statement submission.
- Meeting with VicForests to discuss the current native timber harvesting process and fishers concerns.
- Habitat and Water Reference Group reviewing VRFish habitat policies.
- Planning media around World Fish Migration Day to raise awareness about fish barriers and fishways.
- Further liaison with VFA for potential sites for a kingfish reef in Port Phillip.
- Promotion of doubling of living shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay
- Continued awareness raising of environmental damage caused by Goulburn to
- Murray IVTs.
- Advocating for a self-cleaning pump screens demonstration site.
- Correspondence to Swan Hill Shire opposing discussions to use environmental water for watering sporting grounds and ovals
- Responding to Covid-related enquiries. Requesting clarification for density quota for Charter Operators. Asking Government to reconsider fishing as recreation in Metro Melbourne. Promoting Covid-Support grants for clubs and associations.
- Crown Water Frontage Access Campaign – Media Release (10+ newspaper articles) and multiple social media posts (80K+ reach).
- Following up access black spots raised with VRFish and requesting
- VFA/DELWP to investigate.
- Drafting a Code of Practice for Crown water Frontages.
- Consulting with fishers on draft camping and access strategy for Lake Tyers.
- Presented to the Barwon River Users Group requesting on-water access for motored boats for recreational fishing.
- Prepared position on Spider Crab fishery, meetings with VFA and members of the Spider Crab Alliance, dissemination of survey results of fishers and consulting for bag/possession limit.
- Stakeholder Reference Group process commenced for drafting the Marine and Coastal Strategy.
- First Stakeholder Reference Group for Victoria’s Great Outdoors (VGO) program. This is a $105.6 million election commitment to help more Victorians enjoy the great outdoors with cheaper camping fees, new and upgraded camping grounds, upgraded 4WD tracks and the creation of the Yallock-Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park.
- Resource sharing discussions with the Commonwealth with the development of their Resource Sharing Framework Development.
- Waiting on the outcomes from the Port Phillip – Westernport Boat Ramp
- Management Arrangement review.
- Continue to engage in Better Boating projects at Point Richards, Hastings and Rhyll.
- Asked for boat ramp project on Maribyrnong River to be accelerated.
- Engaging with consultants on Williamstown Marine Precinct.
- VRFish 2020-2024 Strategic Plan has been published
- National Gone Fishing Day 2020 development. Enabling Victorian fishers to be part of the day regardless of Covid restrictions and focus is on our waterways.
- Using Instagram to promote recreational fishing photos from around Victoria
- Nominations are open for VRFish Board positions.
- VRFish Annual Report is in development.
Rob Loats commented on Crown Land access – it will need to be access with obligations. The main issue will be rubbish left at the sites.
ATF Update - Terry George
VICTORIAN TROUT FISHERS WIN AN RFL GRANT OF $110K TO ENHANCE OUR VALUABLE FISHERY(This grant is funded by Recreational Fishers’ Licence Fees)
The Victorian Fishing Authority gave trout fishers a huge vote of confidence when it delegated responsibility to the Australian Trout Foundation Vic (ATF) to manage and administer the funds that will be required to continue the current Wild Trout Management Program, plus additional priority actions contained in the recently distributed Victorian Wild Trout Strategy. The considerable advice and assistance provided by VFA’s Inland Fisheries Managers to the ATF in preparation of the grant submission is greatly appreciated.
The ATF is the recognized representative body for trout fishers and it will be calling on its group of passionate volunteers for assistance to carry out a number of important priority actions that will be funded by the grant monies. Some of these priority actions are listed here for your information:
- Continue the assessment of the Jordan Scotty incubators and stocking “wild fry” as a trout population recovery tool. Unfortunately, volunteers are unable to assist loading incubators and releasing fry this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
- Identify locations for priority trout streams where riparian shade planting will maximise benefits to trout fisheries. Dr John Morrongiello will use the latest science to help prioritise locations alongside CMA and angler preferences. Anglers can become engaged by reporting locations that require riparian revegetation projects.
- Collect stream temperature data on priority trout rivers and make this information widely available to trout fishers via the ATF website and a new ATF App. The ATF, VFA & CMA’s working together to upgrade up to 10 recording stations.
- Roll out a pilot program that enables angling clubs to manage/care for crown land river frontages. ATF, VFA & CMA’s to work with DELWP to facilitate up to 4 pilot licence agreements for crown land frontages. Angler engagement by taking responsibility to manage and repair riparian land to improve fishing outcomes.
- ATF & CMA’s to host 2 regional workshops per year. Following on from 3 previous successful workshops, CMA’s and trout fishers to identify locations where revegetation will most benefit trout fisheries. Trout fishers can also advise on access problems.
- Promote sustainable trout fishing and sensitive harvesting practices. ATF and anglers to develop a pamphlet and videos to promote responsible trout fishing and handling practices.
- The link for the Victorian Wild Trout Strategy: https://atfonline.com.au/home/page/Wild-Trout-Strategy
- To our volunteers, we are looking forward to when we can meet again to continue working together with you and CMA’s on river health restoration projects. Two major “trees for trout” planting days at the Steavenson & Ovens Rivers were cancelled, but GBCMA & NECMA made sound management decisions and have engaged contractors to plant the trees so as not to lose a year’s growth rate.
There are many habitat restoration projects currently on the drawing board and more in planning, so when the 2021 planting season arrives next Autumn, please be assured the volunteer army will be overburdened with “trees for trout” days in all regions. If you are not on the volunteer list, please feel free to register by emailing your contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the assistance of the VFA, fertilized brown trout eggs have been sourced for wild trout stocking in the north-east.
Brown trout eggs stripped and fertilised at Fisheries NSW’s Gaden hatchery, near Jindabyne, were transported first by Fisheries NSW, then passed on to VFA Fisheries Officers from Wodonga at the border, who then travelled to meet up with and transfer to Dylan at Barnawatha for the final leg to Snobs Creek.
This was part of a planned stocking trial into the Nariel Creek using wild sourced brown trout fry to see if stocking wild fry accelerates trout population recovery post fires.
The ATF had met with the VFA, North East Catchment Management Authority and the local Corryong fishing community earlier in the year and planned the trials.
Sourcing wild trout fry for the trial was a little bit of a challenge but that’s where Gaden came in. Wild brown trout from Lake Jindabyne run up the Thredbo River to spawn and are trapped at Gaden’s fish trap where the ripe fish can be stripped. Fisheries NSW were happy to donate some eggs to assist in this stocking project.
The eggs will now incubate at Snobs Creek for several weeks and once hatched, the young trout fry will be released after they are swimming well and just starting to feed. Fin clips were collected from the parents which will be used to identify the stocked fish collected from future monitoring surveys.
NFA Update - Tim Curmi
Macquarie Perch hatchery
- Continue to grow Macquarie perch fingerling on a totally artificial diet. This has continued for an extended period with the fingerlings fed only artificial food (pellets). Have settled on a pellet (Otohime) that appears to give good growth and healthy fish
- Preparing the hatchery for the fast upcoming Macquarie perch breeding season. This includes getting numerous tanks ready, setting up the egg incubators and getting Yarra water for use in all facets of the breeding process.
- Angling for broodstock at least twice a week at a number of sites along the Yarra around Warrandyte/Eltham. Capturing many female fish in great condition but no males as yet. All fish returned as the females are not yet ready to spawn. Angling involved writing to Business Vic to confirm angling for broodstock is a permitted activity, drafting a COVID safe plan for angling for broodstock and numerous permitted workers permits.
- Our Ethic application to the WSI AEC is yet to be finalised. It was submitted on the 2nd June. Unsure why there is the excessive delay as we have fulfilled all requirements from our end.
- Continue to work closely with Landcare Australia who are partners in our successful federal Bushfire grant to breed Macquarie perch for release into the Buffalo River. They are assisting with publicity of the project and have recently met with the federal environment minister on our behalf.
- Plans for the new hatchery at La Trobe University continue to develop. We are discussing internal layout, potential fish species including Southern purple spotted gudgeon, Dwarf galaxias, local Southern pygmy perch and Catfish. Also discussing potential partners for the hatchery.
- Developing a Strategic Relationship Agreement with the University that documents how we will work with them into the future. This will lead directly to a lease agreement.
- Planning to move Feb/March 2021 after the completion of Macquarie perch breeding.
- Hope for a medium-term lease as we are still working towards a new purpose-built hatchery adjacent to the Wildlife sanctuary at La Trobe University.
- This new premises will greatly strengthen our hatchery operations and allow us to diversify into other endangered native fish species as well a potentially develop a hands-on educational program.
- Contemplation the name of the new hatchery – possibly one of the Aboriginal names for Macquarie perch
Southern Pygmy Perch breeding/stocking program
- There have been some further releases of Southern Pygmy perch into a number of waterways around Bendigo and into Gunbower forest.
- Has been some recent sampling of previously stocked population around Bendigo. The males were brightly coloured, and females in spawning condition at all sites. All were growing very well.
- Developing a plan to breed local Southern Pygmy perch at the new hatchery for local release and use in our fish tanks in schools program.
- Starting to develop plans to stock SPP into other suitable waterways including Winton Wetlands and Lake Nagambie.
- We wrote to a number of stakeholders around the reintroduction of a recreational fishery for Trout cod. Simply after a plan for the future similar to many recently released angling plans
- Received a good response from the NSW Minister for Agriculture.
- Talking constructively with AGL around improving the desilting process for the hydro weirs on the Royston/Rubicon rivers. Aim is to stop movement of large quantities of silt accumulated in the two weirs from being flushed downstream and affecting river health.
- Good productive discussions to date.
- Is in partnership with the ATF and CVFFC
- Are developing a YouTube channel
- Will document and share hatchery activities as well as other events.
- Have posted a number of clips of fish housed in the hatchery
RFL Review -Tom Camp
Tom is one of five invited to be part of the RFL Review Working Group to review Recommendation #1 Strategic Plan. This got off to a false start because it became evident that not all the recommendations were going to be reviewed. From that initial meeting there was some pushback by some of the delegate which resulted in further discussion with the Minister to revise the Brief. It appears that of the five recommendations not all were going to be reviewed. Following the discussion with Minister it appears that the Government as advised by the VFA is going to take each of the five recommendation and select the appropriate people with the expertise to work through them. That is not Tom’s understanding of how this would be done. He had hoped that the VFA would appoint a key group of people drawing from the resources of the SRFR and collaboratively look at the report to determine what outcomes need to occur. The reason that he thought that would be the method is that all five points are interdependent on each other.
There have been two meetings with the Ministerial Advisor and in the next week will meet again to look at what the Brief will look like.
This is a great opportunity to look at the spirit and the body of the report so that we can fine tune the way we represent recreational fishing and how we deal with the challenges that have been raised at this meeting.
How do we get the consistency of a review of the major recommendations plus the underlying aspects of this report by piecemealing it away into individual groups. If we are going to get a good outcome we have to review the thing in total, identify the priorities and then together, the rec fishers and the VFA together, determine the Terms of Reference of how we do this in the most economic way. In the Minutes of the last meeting it does not represent a complete discussion. There was discussion of appointing or looking at an independent chairperson for this group. That does not appear in the Minutes. But then we end up with a sub-committee with a relatively defined Terms of Reference where these other things are not part and parcel to be considered. The only reason we are looking for an independent Chair is that we were wanting to see an equal collaboration with rec fishers and VFA. A Chair could review the whole thing so we could make recommendations to the Minister of how the review should be done.
Which pathway does the VFA want to go down and is it the right pathway to go down. Dallas
Dallas responded. The VFA does not feel that we are taking a piecemeal approach. There are some discreet bits of work that need to be done. They are all interconnected but it all starts with the Strategic Plan. From our point of view that is the overarching piece of work that needs to be done first. We are setting up different groups to deal with this. There is quite a bit of overlap between the rec fishing community on it. We need to fit the right people for the individual task and we want to start with the Strategic Plan and get that under way. Everything else needs to sit under that. That is hopefully agreed by the members here today. We want to get the Strategic Plan under way. Brian has done a lot of work on the mid-size grants. Then it all has to fit under the Strategic Plan.
Tom: I agree with that but the Strategic Plan really is the key component of it so the last thing you actually need to do is the Strategic Plan because what comes out of the review of the other things determines the Strategic Plan. We have an opportunity to strategically look at how rec fishers are represented within the landscape of the RFL. Without changing a huge amount of things, advocacy is important, communication and comms with license holders, and the Working Group and its Brief and what it should be doing and how it should be conducted. To just deal with the money, which is what I thought we were genuinely presented with at the first steering group committee meeting, which is why we thought it was a whole review. You can’t really do that until you resolve the other issues, hence why there should be another meeting where we agree, then advise the Minister on how to go about it. All the things that you are trying to institute will have to be done but I would like to se it with an overarching people who are actually responsible for delivering these things right across the board, not piecemeal. I would prefer to see that meeting first then see that the Minister is properly briefed about the actual issues that you want to address.
Terry George: I don’t disagree with anything but for clarity we’ve got three parties to this at the moment – the Working Group, the VFA and the Minister’s Office. So don’t we just need to agree on the scope of the review and then get to work on it. We need all parties to agree on the way forward.
Dallas: The Minister was clear that they want the VRFish review done in three months. That will be delivered by the end of the year. The Strategic Plan process has started.
Tom: The only reason that we’ve got the VRFish review now is that we pushed back at the meeting three weeks ago.
Dallas: We have had a change of Minister and it’s only fair to give the Minister time find her feet. The review is something that was called for, it’s happening, so it’s time to get on with the job and do it.
Tom: The point that I am trying to make, and do it respectfully, is that we would not have got this review if we hadn’t actually sat down and had a meeting with you, thinking that we were a steering group looking at all the five recommendations and then to be delivered a timetable and an articulation here when we had a discussion with you to find it was off the table.
Dallas: The groups that we are forming have an important role to play in advising and guiding and shaping how we go forward.
Tom: I’m happy to do that and everyone will be, but let’s work the agendas out with Dallas. We don’t want you to tell us what we need to do, let us tell you what we think should be the Terms of Reference.
Dallas: These groups are advisory. They are not decision making groups and that is how we will continue to operate.
Rob Loats: VRFish are quite prepared to have a VRFish review but want it completed as soon as possible as there are a lot of things on the agenda. We would like a little bit of independence on the review. This meaning that we have the best peak body in Australia located in Western Australia. Why can’t the CEO of that body sit in on our review to provide input as to how a proper peak body should work. That is what we wrote to the Minister and asked for.
Tom: we have the opportunity to do that providing the VFA sit down with us and get all of these things on the table so everybody gets a fair hearing. Representation is the key.
Dallas: All of the Working Groups are advisory. We provide advice to the minister. There are different views and opinions, all of which are respected.
Questions & Close - Julia Menzies
Meeting closed 12:40pm
Next Roundtable meeting #60 - will be on Friday 27th November 2020 at 10:00am
Location/process pending COVID-19 update