28 July 2023 taskforce meeting

The first meeting of the Future Fishing Taskforce was held in-person and via videoconference on 28 July 2023 and was chaired by Mr John Tanzer. He has significant fisheries, marine park and governance experience developed over many years working in Queensland, Commonwealth and international agencies.

The purpose of the taskforce is to provide recommendations to the Queensland Government on the best approach, design and implementation of structural adjustment for those impacted by changed fishing access in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and ensure alignment with the Great Sandy Marine Park rezoning mitigation package.

Background information regarding the east coast inshore fishery and the Reactive Monitoring Mission Report and priority recommendation to phase-out gill-net fishing in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area was noted. The taskforce discussed its scope of work, meeting schedule and reporting deadlines, noting that there were a considerable number of complex issues to consider ahead of the World Heritage Committee’s decision around the Great Barrier Reef. The taskforce will report directly to Ministers’ Linard and Furner who are leading the development of the structural adjustment package for consideration by government.

Statutory provisions for compensation in the Fisheries Act 1994 and the methodology previously employed in other fishery structural adjustment schemes were discussed by the taskforce. The taskforce also noted the importance of ensuring consistency and alignment with the mitigation package for the Great Sandy Marine Park rezoning. The complexity associated with designing an appropriate structural adjustment scheme and range of options to achieve the intended policy outcomes was noted. The taskforce noted that ex gratia payments, statutory compensation, compulsory/voluntary buybacks, asset buyback and support for lessees/employees and downstream businesses were all within their remit.

The taskforce agreed that input from subject matter experts, scientists, stakeholders, other peak bodies, First Nations peoples and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will be essential as they consider various elements of the package. They also requested a process be established to ensure submissions from all affected licence holders, industry members, businesses, other stakeholders and Traditional Owners can be received and considered.

The next taskforce meeting will be on 3 August 2023, and the taskforce has extended an invitation to the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) leadership and professional fishing representatives who specifically own and operate net fishing businesses in the Great Barrier Reef.


  • John Tanzer (independent chair)
  • Senior representatives from the Queensland Government including:
    • Fisheries Queensland
    • Department of Environment and Science (Environment and Planning Policy/Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)
    • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
    • Queensland Treasury
    • Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).