NSW and Federal government correspondence, submissions and issues updates
RFA to NSW and federal politicians regarding floodplain harvesting
Date sent: 22 July 2021
The RFA has written to a number of state and federal politicians regarding floodplain harvesting and its impact on native fish, especially threatened or endangered species such as Murray cod, trout cod, Macquarie perch and silver perch. Floodplain harvest intercepts over-land flows from the floodplains surrounding main river channels and stores the water in on-farm dams for irrigation of broadacre crops, mostly cotton. Floodplain harvesting has never been regulated, monitored, or measured in NSW. The NSW Government is in the process of licensing floodplain harvesting for the first time and recreational anglers have significant concerns that need to be addressed.
Over-harvesting of any natural water flows of water across a catchment has significant impacts on a freshwater aquatic ecosystem, in particular aquatic plants, fish and the food web that supports so much life.
Letters have been sent to the following. All letters were similar to the letter in the first link.
Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Water
Matt Kean, NSW Minister for Environment
Keith Pitt, Federal Minister for Water
Sussan Ley, Federal Environment Minister
Roy Butler, NSW Member for Barwon
Helen Dalton, NSW Member for Murray
Robert Borsak, NSW Upper House
Cate Faerhmann, NSW Upper House
Justin Field, NSW Upper House
Mark Pearson, NSW Upper House
Clayton Barr, NSW Opposition Spokesperson for Water
Michael Daley, NSW Lower House
Penny Sharpe, NSW Upper House
Mick Veitch, NSW Lower House
Mark Latham, NSW Upper House
Rod Roberts, NSW Upper House
RFA and Review of Impounding Act
Date sent: 9 July 2021
The RFA, the Boating Industry Association and the Boat Owners’ Association of NSW have written to Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock regarding the collective concerns of the way the Office of Local Government has conducted the review of the Impounding Act.
The RFA has also submitted its views on the process and in the face of this current pandemic many of us were encouraged to holiday at home or take advantage of tax breaks to buy new work trailers, many of us purchased new boats and new caravans. Now the OLG and the NSW Government are failing to adequately consult on proposed changes and what we feel is a misguided agenda to make unnecessary changes to the Impounding Act, penalising those with “unattended vehicles and trailers” in NSW. These are not abandoned trailers and boats, but legally registered trailers and boats.
RFA to Minister Adam Marshall and other NSW Ministers regarding irrigation pumps killing fish in NSW waterways
Date sent: 18 October 2020
The RFA has written to Minister Adam Marshall, and to Ministers Melinda Pavey, Damien Tudehope and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet expressing concerns that problems with irrigation pumps killing fish in NSW waterways just show a complete failure of multiple existing legislations which supposedly protect fish. The RFA also queries whether recreational fishers’ licence money should be spent fixing a problem that recreational fishers didn’t cause. Minutes of the Recreational Fishing Trusts show that the Trusts recently approved the expenditure of $148,000 of rec fishing licence money to convene “a stakeholder forum to provide an opportunity for knowledge and ideas exchange between local irrigation districts, water managers, the broader scientifice and engineering communities and other regional stakeholder communities, including recreational fishers.”
Outcome: Letter received from Minister Adam Marshall
Follow up letter from RFA to Minister Marshall
Letter received from Minister Pavey
Further follow up letter from RFA to Minister Pavey
Further follow up letter from RFA seeking response from Minister Marshall
RFA of NSW to Premier of NSW regarding delayed publication of Trust committee meetings
Date sent: 4 October 2020
An open letter signed by a number of recreational fishing organisations asking for action on delayed outcomes and approvals of funding applications to the Recreational Fishing Trusts.
Outcome: A letter was received from Minister Adam Marshall stating that meeting summaries have now been published on the DPI website.
RFA of NSW to Minister Adam Marshall regarding NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy
Date sent: 18 Sep 2020
The RFA supported Stage Two Funding of the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028
Date sent: 24 Sep 2020
The RFA supported an application for weir removal and other freshwater habitat improvements that would restore native fish passage and recreational fishing access.
Brief: The RFA raised its concerns with both Ministers regarding the limited public consultation with regard to the Review of the Marine Estate Management Act 2014. Recently we became aware that an email was sent to the Marine Park Advisory Committees without seeking engagement with the wider community. That email was forwarded by recreational fishing stakeholders to the RFA for advice and possible assistance. The limited and very narrow parameters around who will participate and the restricted timeline are unusual for such an important process. The RFA requested a halt to the process and a public consultation phase to allow ample time and sufficient background information for public input, to remove any doubt that the process is privileged and controlled by MEMA and NSW DPI.
Date Sent: 12 August 2020
Outcome: Letter received from Minister Marshall asserting that consultation was adequate and “a targeted approach”.
Date Sent: 12 August 2020
Brief: The RFA submitted to the Minister that the limited public consultation and available information with regard to Stock Assessment of Kingfish in NSW is deeply flawed and called for an alternative public process that involves a proper expert panel, involving clearly identified “experts” in the stock assessment process, and defined objectives and processes.
Outcome: TBA – awaiting outcome
Date sent: 2 August 2020
Brief: The Commonwealth Government is in the final stages of considering an investment of between $20-45 million in shellfish reef restoration. The RFA expressed its support for the proposal and the benefits that reef restoration will provide to recreational fishers in NSW.
Outcome: TBA – awaiting outcome.
Date Sent: 14 July 2020
Brief: The RFA expressed our support for the Botany Bay Oyster Reef Recovery project. We expect this important project in the heart of Sydney will have a significant effect on the health of Botany Bay. It will also be a flagship project drawing the attention of recreational fishers and the whole community to similar initiatives that can address the decline of coastal environments.
Outcome: TBA – awaiting outcome
Date Sent: 3 July 2020
Brief: The RFA provided a submission to the NSW Office of Local Government regarding the removal of legally parked boat trailers on streets.
The RFA believes that the Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Act 2015 should be removed, or at the very least reviewed to a more meaningful and less discriminatory level that should allow boat owners to park their legally registered boat trailers and boats in their streets and in front of their houses without fear of impoundment.
Outcome: TBA – awaiting outcome
Date Sent: 21st May 2020
Brief: The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is developing a Commonwealth fisheries resource sharing framework. The framework will outline how the federal government will negotiate the sharing of fisheries resources between commercial, Indigenous and recreational fishers; and between the federal government and states and territories. The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW provided a submission on behalf of the states anglers.
Outcome: TBA – awaiting outcome of framework.
Date Sent: 2nd June 2020
Brief: The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW wrote to the Minster seeking urgent answers on the recent approval of cultural net fishing on the NSW South Coast including recreational fishing havens. The RFA understands that there has been no local community consultation on a process and on behalf of the state’s anglers is seeking clarification on the continued erosion of the state’s Recreational Fishing Haven Process
Outcome: TBA – No response to date
Response: Minister’s letter is here
Date Sent: 30th April 2020
Brief: The Transition of the Southern Fish Trawl from NSW to Commonwealth management still remains unresolved as far as we know. The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW wrote to the Minister on behalf of the state’s anglers, especially those on the South Coast of NSW seeking updated advice.
Response: Minister’s response is here.
Date Sent: 22nd March 2020
Brief: The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW wrote to the Minister with regards to the integrity and independent oversight of research data and intellectual property generated or collected in projects funded by the New South Wales Recreational Fishing Trusts
Outcome: TBA – No response to date
Date Sent: 4th December 2019
Brief: The Recreational Fishing Alliance sent an email to the Minister as it is still concerned about the lack of action and information around the 2018 changes made to Mulloway under the auspices of the Mulloway Recovery Plan.
Outcome: Response received 28th Jan 2020
Response: The RFA is following up the following with NSW DPI
- The lack of updated information as these changes were supposed to be closely monitored by NSW DPI-Fisheries and the results shared with stakeholders on a regular basis.
- The RFA is also asking to see an actual copy of the NSW Mulloway Recovery Plan that should have measurable indicators that are used to gauge the success of the plan and a trigger point identifying when the State’s stocks or Regional area stocks have ‘recovered’.
- The RFA is also asking to see a comprehensive research plan to validate these changes and support the goals of the recovery plan to ensure that recreational anglers can be confident that the objectives of the changes are being monitored effectively.
Southern Fish Trawl Documents and Past Submissions:
The RFA is still awaiting an update on this process in light of the shocking video posted online by a concerned commercial fisher.
The RFA wrote a follow up letter to a recent meeting with the Minister where the concerns of the Recreational Fishing Alliance of New South Wales (RFA) about the Public Consultation Paper “Transitioning the NSW Southern Fish Trawl Restricted Fishery to Commonwealth Management” recently released by NSW DPI and supported by AFMA were discussed.
The RFA believed the consultation process on this important issue has been woefully deficient and the Public Consultation Paper (PCP) is terminally flawed. Important stakeholders, including recreational fishers, have still been excluded from the consultation and there have been no genuine attempts at engagement with them on this important issue over the previous 12 months despite repeated calls for inclusion.
The RFA provided additional comments on the Cardo Risk Assessment for the transition of the NSW Southern Fish Trawl Restricted Fishery to Commonwealth Management. The RFA once again expressed disappointment at the way this whole process has been managed. The Risk Assessment was made available online technically after the Consultation period closed
The RFA believed that consultation to date has been inadequate and that key issues and management options have not been considered. Relevant stakeholders have been excluded from the negotiation process and asked for transparency.
Hawkesbury Bioregion Documents and Past Submissions:
8th May 2016 Submission Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Initiatives
The RFA submission.
The RFA wrote top both Ministers after a workshop hosted by MEMA and recreational anglers and business holders had an opportunity to present the collective views to the Bioregional Team. The RFA undertook to invite the major fishing clubs in the bioregion, representatives from the tackle industry, spearfishing groups, state and national peak bodies and the charter fishing industry.
The RFA provided comment on the draft Marine Estate Management Strategy. The comments are based on points raised by the RFA of NSW and invited stakeholders during the meeting on 7th December 2017 at Parliament House in Sydney.
The RFA challenged MEMA on a willingness to address the real threats to our marine biodiversity many will continue to use lockouts of recreational anglers as a way of justifying it is protecting the biodiversity of the bioregion when the real threats are overlooked. These threats were also be used to justify site selection