Fishers weigh in on levies

THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) had a good response from commercial fishers in Port Lincoln, at its consultation session on Thursday last week.

Twenty-five attended the session at the Port Lincoln Hotel and represented commercial fishers from a variety of sectors including long-line, line, tuna, rock lobster and prawn. 

An authority spokesperson said attendees were keen to ask questions and get more detail on the levy proposals and the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety.

The authority has proposed two different models for the introduction of a levy, a flat fee per metre, based on the length of a vessel, or a fee based on vessel class and size, combining a fixed charge with a fee per metre.

“Attendees were concerned about the potential impact of increased fees on their businesses and wanted to see industry safety maintained with the introduction of the new system,” the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson said people were pleased with the chance to speak with authority staff face-to-face and get their questions answered.

“Many were keen to see industry safety improve but were concerned about the potential for increases in overall fees.”

“AMSA recognises the importance of consulting with domestic commercial vessel owners and operators through the public consultation process and it is intended that any matters that could produce unintended consequences or unnecessary burdens will be identified,” they said.

The feedback the authority receives during the consultation period will be presented to the government to assist in the implementation of an appropriate cost recovery system.

“AMSA is encouraging commercial vessel operators to make submissions,” the spokesperson said. 

Consultation on the proposed levies and fees will be open until October 10 and submissions can be made online via the consultation page of the authority’s website.

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