Changes to Queensland's fisheries legislation
In June 2017, the Queensland Government released the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017–2027 (the strategy) paving the way for a world-class fisheries management system for Queensland. To deliver upon the commitments made under the strategy, changes to Queensland’s fisheries legislation will be required.
As a first step, the Queensland Government has amended the Fisheries Act 1994 to:
- modernise the objectives of the Fisheries Act and recognise the interests of key stakeholder groups
- clarify the roles of the Fisheries Minister and the chief executive in the management of the state’s fisheries and to allow for more responsive decision-making through the use of harvest strategies
- strengthen enforcement powers and penalties to address serious fisheries offences such as black-marketing
- reduce complexity and remove redundant provisions.
The changes to the Fisheries Act took effect from 28 May 2019, including tougher penalties to combat black-marketing and a 20m shark control exclusion zone. The Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel is currently in the process of updating the legislation to reflect these changes—until then, please refer to the Fisheries (Sustainable Fisheries Strategy) Amendment Act 2019 for information on the new provisions.
A new-look Fisheries Regulation 2008 also took effect from 28 May 2019. There are no changes to the rules, just an updated structure, the East Coast Trawl Management Plan has been incorporated, and parts of the Regulation have been moved to declarations. The Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel is also in the process of applying these structural updates to the legislation and it will be available soon.
Discussion paper and online survey
In March 2018, the Queensland Government released a discussion paper outlining the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act for public consultation. Public consultation on this discussion paper closed on 20 May 2018.
The feedback received from Queenslanders in response to the discussion paper was considered by the Government in preparing the Fisheries (Sustainable Fisheries Strategy) Amendment Bill 2018, which was introduced in the Queensland Parliament for the first time on 4 September 2018.