Moreton Bay working group - Terms of reference


The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring fisheries resources are managed in a sustainable and responsible manner that recognises the interests of all Queenslanders. The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy commits to piloting regional management in a key location e.g. Moreton Bay to assess the benefits and limitations of regionally specific management arrangements.

Management arrangements for many fisheries are currently set at a state-wide level (e.g. recreational bag and size limits, commercial endorsements accessing entire east coast). Many stakeholders, however, are seeking a more regional approach to fisheries management. This is often seen as a way to address localised social, economic or environmental issues, which are difficult to address at a state-wide level (e.g. regional quotas and zoning to address resource sharing within and between sectors).

Moreton Bay is a popular adjacent to the primary population area of South East Queensland.  The commercial catch from Moreton Bay comes from a variety of different methods including otter trawl, beam trawl, tunnel netting, gill netting, line and stocks a range of local markets and fish and chip shops. There is also a significant worm and crab fishery operating  within the Bay. Many of the commercially targeted species are also taken by recreational fishers so there is significant competition for access to fisheries resources. The fishery is also home to important traditional fishing by First Nations people. Given the demand for fisheries resources from this area, it is also susceptible to localised depletion issues.

Purpose of the Working Group

The Moreton Bay Working Group will trial a regional approach to fisheries management. The working group will provide advice on the operational aspects of managing a range of fisheries and sharing fisheries resources within a defined geographic area i.e. Moreton Bay.


  1. To assist with identifying regionally-specific issues that regional management of fisheries resources could help address.
  2. To assist in developing options for regionally-specific fishing rules (e.g. regional catch limits, access requirements or rules for each sector).
  3. To advise on implementation of regionally-specific fishing rules in Moreton Bay.


The role of working group members is to:

  • provide advice to Fisheries Queensland on options for a regional management in Moreton Bay
  • assist with the development and implementation of regional management in Moreton Bay
  • provide advice on emerging issues (e.g. compliance, data, legislation, research)
  • assist with disseminating factual information back to other stakeholders in the fishery.

The role of Fisheries Queensland will be to:

  • provide guidance for working groups in the form of a Work Program
  • arrange meeting times and provide logistical support for meetings
  • distribute meeting materials to support the effective operation of the working group
  • provide information and data to support the work of the working group
  • provide a point of communication between the working group, other fishery working groups and the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel.

Linkage with the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel (Expert Panel) and other fishery working groups:

  • The Expert Panel will provide advice to Fisheries Queensland on priorities to help set the work program for the Moreton Bay regional management trial.
  • As the working group develops options for regional management in Moreton Bay, this work will be reviewed by other fishery working groups and the Expert Panel. Based on this review, the Expert Panel and fishery working groups may seek clarification and/or recommend further work or changes be undertaken by the Working Group.
  • The Expert Panel and other fishery working groups may seek other advice from the working group about the Moreton Bay regional management trial as requested.


The operation of the working group will consist of regular meetings both in person and by teleconference. Fisheries Queensland will prepare the agenda and supporting documents seven days ahead of each meeting and chair each meeting.

Within reason, out-of-session advice and review of documents may be required.

Obligations and responsibilities of members

Being a member has important obligations and responsibilities. In accepting the appointment, members must be prepared to:

  1. Contribute knowledge of and experience in Queensland’s fisheries in Moreton Bay.
  2. If requested, consult with stakeholder peers through port-level associations, regional associations, peak industry bodies and other avenues as necessary and ensure stakeholder views are considered in working group discussions
  3. Constructively participate in discussions to achieve acceptable outcomes.
  4. Respect the views expressed by other members.
  5. Act in the best interests of fishery as a whole, rather than as an advocate for any particular individual, organisation, interest group or regional interest.
  6. Avoid pursuing personal agendas or self-interest, and participate in discussion in an objective and impartial manner.
  7. Promptly advise of any conflict of interest issues that arise subsequent to appointment. Conflict of interest issues should be communicated as soon as they arise, by writing to the Chair.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure

Some information that is sensitive in nature is provided to working group members to enable them to provide the best advice to Fisheries Queensland on the specific fishery. Given this, members are also asked to:

  • observe confidentiality (when requested) and exercise tact and discretion when dealing with sensitive issues. If a member is unsure or concerned about the disclosure to non-members, the member should seek advice from the Chair
  • at all times act honestly, exercise care and diligence in the discharge of their duties and not make improper use of working group information. Improper use would be where a member gains an advantage either directly or indirectly (financial or otherwise) over another person or causes detriment to the working group’s work or to another person
  • not publish or communicate to any person, who they are not authorised to publish or communicate to, any information that comes to their knowledge or possession because they are a member of the working group.

Sitting fees

Participation on the working groups will be on a voluntary basis. No sitting fees will be paid.

Meetings and Travel costs

Members are eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses including domestic travel and accommodation costs.


Fisheries Queensland will appoint members.  Membership of fishery working groups will be refreshed every two years to allow for rotation of different representatives and development of new industry leaders.

The composition of the working group is outlined in the table below:

Name Representative of
Michael Ross Chair
Norm Good Science
Stephen Gabas Science
John Page Commercial sector
Mike Soady Commercial sector
Mark Kleinschmidt Commercial sector
Max Giaroli Commercial Industry Body
Ben Collins Recreational sector
Ian Fischer Recreational sector
Liam Fitzpatrick Recreational sector
Rhiannon Wordsworth Recreational sector
Robyn Tomkins Recreational sector
Stephen Hunter Recreational organisation
Daniel McInnes Fishery Manager (FQ)
Tom Richards Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (FQ)
Christopher Watts Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (FQ)