Policy guidelines on the term of authorities

1. Policy Statement

This policy describes the term, under section 53 of the Fisheries Act 1994 ("the Act"),  that authorities described in Sections 203-207 of the Fisheries Regulation 2008 ("the Regulations"), are issued for.

2. Background And Context

The Regulations provides for issuing the authorities of licences, permits, resource allocation authorities, and quota, Section 53 of the Act allows the term of issue of these authorities to be for fixed, or indefinite periods.

3. Scope

This policy has been developed to assist Fisheries Queensland officers in establishing a consistent approach on deciding the terms for each of the authority types, in certain circumstances.

4. Definitions

"Act" means the Fisheries Act 1994.

"Chief executive" means the chief executive, or delegate - Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

"Fisheries Queensland" means the Queensland Government Department that, among other things, has responsibility for management of Queensland's fisheries.

"RAA" means resource allocation authority.

"Regulation" means the Fisheries Regulation 2008.

5. Key Principles

5.1 Principle 1: licences and quota

The following licence and quota type authorities will be issued as ongoing authorities:

  1. Carrier boat licence
  2. Charter fishing licence
  3. Commercial fisher licence
  4. Commercial fishing boat licence
  5. Commercial harvest fishery licence
  6. SM units
  7. ITQ units
  8. T1 effort units
  9. T2 effort units
  10. CT line units
  11. OS line units
  12. RTE line units

Generally, these authorities will continue in force until surrendered, or cancelled. For example, where a licence is no longer required because the holder may have left the industry, they may surrender it to avoid paying unnecessary fees. Alternatively, Fisheries Queensland may cancel an authority, for example, for non-payment of the annual fees normally applicable. An authority may also be cancelled by a magistrate, for example, during court proceedings in considering a complaint for breaches of fisheries legislation.

5.2 Principle 2: Permits

Permit types include:

  1. Developmental fishing permit
  2. Filleting permit
  3. General fisheries permit
  4. Indigenous fishing permit
  5. Stocked impoundment permit

Permits are issued for a fixed term and cannot be renewed. The holder of an expired permit can, however, apply for issue of a new permit, including under the same terms and conditions of the former expired permit.

Permit terms can vary depending on the nature of the activity for which the permit is issued, For example, a general fisheries permit to allow an indigenous person to use commercial fishing apparatus for taking fish to use in a cultural event, would generally only be issued for that particular event. On the other hand, a developmental fishing permit, could be issued for a number of years to authorise activities such as using new apparatus, or taking fish not ordinarily prescribed, or operating in new areas, in determining the viability of establishing a new "managed" fishery for the longer term.

5.3 Principle 3: Resource allocation authorities

Resource allocation authorities (RAAs), are required for any developmental work to be carried out in a declared fish habitat area, or for aquaculture development in Queensland waters or unallocated tidal land. These authorities provide entitlement to interfere with a 'state resource' and allow application for a development approval under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 to be made to authorise works or aquaculture development. RAAs may only be issued in a declared fish habitat area for a 'prescribed development purpose' set out in the Fisheries Regulation 2008. RAAs for works carried out in a declared fish habitat area are usually issued for a period of three years to allow for assessment of development applications and for approved works to be completed but this period may vary depending on the application. RAAs for aquaculture development can be issued for a period of up to 30 years to provide investors with sufficient security to successfully obtain financing. RAAs for aquaculture development are issued for shorter periods for unproven activities where new species or new farming methods are being trialled.

For example, a RAA would be issued to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to construct a public boat ramp in a declared fish habitat area for the prescribed development purpose 'providing public infrastructure to facilitate fishing'. The RAA would define the purpose and location of the works and allow application for a development approval, which would authorise the works to occur with conditions about how these are to take place.

A RAA would generally be issued for oyster, pearl culture, sea ranching or marine farming aquaculture developments. The RAA would define the location of the aquaculture development and allow application for a development approval. 

6. Responsibilities and Accountabilities

This policy is to be applied by delegated Fisheries Queensland officers.

7. Source Documentation

Fisheries Act 1994 Fisheries Regulation 2008
Fisheries Management plans - East Coast Trawl Plan, Coral Reef Plan
Sustainable Planning Act 2009

8. Related Documents

This policy applies generally and is to be read and applied in conjunction with all other relevant policies of Fisheries Queensland.