FOLLOWING the recent national crisis meeting in Fremantle to discuss the ongoing threats to resource access and property rights across the nation, Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has announced membership of its Resource Security Task Force.
“In the face of growing threats to our industry, we have formed the Resource Security Task Force. The Task Force will address the constant erosion of access and the devaluation and destabilisation this brings to the Australian seafood industry,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“The Task Force will develop a national strategy and actions to promote resource security. Our wild-catch and aquaculture sectors already provide one billion meals a year, and we want to grow this to 1.5 billion meals. The absence of secure access to resources, both aquatic and terrestrial, is a major impediment to the confidence and growth of the Australian seafood industry.
“Improving security is critical to providing an environment that encourages innovation and the confidence to invest and work in our industry," she said.
“We cannot sit back and watch our industry, which supports over 25,000 families, be compromised on an issue as crucial as access to resources.
“With the Federal Election just around the corner, we have grave concerns about Labor’s confirmation they will introduce their 2012 Commonwealth Marine Park Management Plans if elected.
“This will be a massive blow for our industry as we have fought long and hard to see the more balanced approach of the Coalition pass through Federal Parliament.
“We have had enough of the ongoing and widespread government interventions, review and reform processes that bring with them increased uncertainty for the future of our industry, the thousands of Australians who are employed by the industry, and the millions more who enjoy fresh, sustainable, healthy Australian seafood.
“As fishers, our priority is the environment. We will continue to advocate the health, sustainability and future of our ocean and land-based aquaculture activities. It’s our livelihood and the future livelihood of generations to come.
“SIA looks forward to working with governments, the community and industry to establish a strong and productive path forward," Ms Lovell said.