Communique 22 April 2021

The Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme Working Group met for its annual meeting in via teleconference on the 22 April 2021. 

Role of the SIPS Working Group: The SIPS Working Group provides advice to Fisheries Queensland on the guidelines and funding associated with the Stocked Impoundment Scheme (SIPS). The Working Group also provides advice on potential future enhancement to SIPS. The Working Group is a non-statutory advisory body. It is not a decision-making body. 

New members of the Working Group were welcomed and provided an introduction and update on their regions and groups. Some topics raised by members included issues with fingerling supply, updates on habitat work and the increase in water levels in some of the impoundments following recent rainfall. The Working Group also requested that Fisheries Queensland look at any options for improving the reissue/reminder process for expiring SIPS permits. 

FFSAQ provided an update on planning for the Freshwater Fisheries Workshop, progress on the SIPS trail guide and fish trailer display events. Fisheries Queensland provided an update on freshwater fisheries management including the release of the stocking policy, the establishment of a freshwater Working Group, and development of the monitoring guideline. QBFP provided a verbal compliance update to the group and a written report will be circulated to the Working Group at a later date. 

The SIPS Working Group discussed the draft SIPS Guideline and endorsed its distribution for further consultation once Fisheries Queensland obtained final clearances. Fisheries Queensland will request further feedback from the Working Group and the broader SIPS community. The group also discussed whether existing SIPS groups should be required to register for GST. 

Fisheries Queensland provided the Working Group with an update on the SIPS acquittals received and outstanding acquittals for the 2020 Grant. The Working Group noted several carry over applications which were all supported, noting that some applications would be subject to carry over limits. The Working Group noted there were a number of outstanding acquittals and encouraged these stocking groups to reach out if they need help. If acquittals are not received by 30 April 2021 this may affect 2021 grants. 

Fisheries Queensland advised that a survey of SIPS permit holders was conducted in March-April 2021. Members of the Working Group raised several issues in relation to this year’s survey including difficulties with the log-on process. Due to low participation the survey has been extended to the end of April 2021 and modifications made to the log-on process. SIPS holders are encouraged to complete the survey at their earliest convenience. A summary of the outcomes and options for use in the SIPS allocation process will be circulated to the Working Group out of session and a discussion held before a final recommendation is made on allocations.  

The Working Group discussed the allocation formula presented in the guideline. After discussion, the majority of the Working Group supported applying the guideline allocation formula with 40% of funds allocated by surface area capped at 4,000 hectares maximum with available fishing area and the remaining 60% of funds allocated by the SIPS permit holder participation rate at dams and weirs. It also continues the minimum $500 allocation and the maximum of 70% of total stocking allocation from SIPS.  

The Working Group discussed the one application for Community Engagement Funding by FFSAQ for the running of the Freshwater Fisheries Workshop on 9 & 10 October in Mackay. This was supported by all Working Group members. 

If SIPS stocking groups require assistance at any time they are encouraged to contact DAF, Working Group members or FFSAQ for support. 

The meeting concluded at 2:30 pm. 

The SIPS Working Group members are: Tony Ham (Chair, Fisheries Queensland), Thomas Hart (Representative, Fisheries Queensland), John Dexter (Representative, Fisheries Queensland),  Charlie Ladd (Delegate, Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland) Kaidon Anderson (Delegate, Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland), Garry Fitzgerald (Member, South East), Noel Frost (Member, South East.), Bob Reid (Member, Murray Darling), Phillip Lamb (Member, Murray Darling) Greg Green (Member, Burnett), Daryl Cupitt (Member, Central), Josh Lyon (Member, Northern), Ian Leighton (Member, Northern). 

Observer/s: Rebecca Johnson (Graduate, Fisheries Queensland) 

Presenter/s: Coby Walker (QBFP)