Labor's positive plan for sustainable fisheries and agriculture sectors

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a positive strategic plan for the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of our fisheries and aquaculture sectors. 

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will manage our seas and waterways for the benefit of the environment and the economy, or more of the Liberal’s cuts and chaos. 

Our oceans support commercial fisheries and aquaculture generating over $3 billion in net value every year, including exports of high-value products like lobster, abalone and whole tuna. 

Labor will convene a national fisheries summit to bring together key stakeholders from our commercial fisheries and aquaculture sector, state and federal regulators and other interested parties including recreational fishing representatives, to address common challenges together. 

Labor’s plan for commercial fishers and the aquaculture industry will:  

  • Improve Australia’s biosecurity system and resource it adequately. 
  • Ensure fisheries are managed sustainably; and apply the best available science and leading-edge technologies.  
  • Improving transparency and accountability in Commonwealth managed fisheries. 
  • Improved engagement in regional fisheries management forums in the Pacific and Indian oceans. 
  • Resolving resource sharing issues to provide assured and fair access to Commonwealth fish resources for recreational and commercial fishers.  

Fisheries and aquaculture will also benefit from Labor’s policies for: 

  • Promoting industry growth and boosting productivity by: 
    • Focusing on moving up the value chain. 
    • Reducing unnecessary regulation. 
    • Applying evidence-based policies.  
  • Boosting trade by:  
    • Reducing international trade barriers. 
    • Improving existing trade agreements.  
    • Promoting Australia’s clean, green and ethically produced food production image.  
    • Addressing information deficiencies, market failures in access to finance, and skill shortages. 

Climate change will have a substantial impact on the marine environments around Australia and only Labor has a comprehensive climate action policy to address future challenges. 

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $10 million to boost the capabilities of the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, better coordinate Australian climate science and develop an Australian climate science capability plan. 

A Shorten Labor Government will restore proper Commonwealth and state and territory relationships by re-establishing the COAG process for the Standing Council on Primary Industries.  Labor will continue to support the side meetings of the Fisheries Ministers at the federal and state levels. 

These policy initiatives will be supported by Labor’s announced policies to:  

  • Lift research and development investment to 3 per cent of GDP per annum by 2030, giving manufacturing the best scientific and research expertise available. 
  • Support firms to innovate and grow through our $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Future Fund.  
  • Encourage business to invest through the Australian Investment Guarantee, with local businesses benefiting from a new accelerated depreciation scheme for new capital assets. 
  • Ending the Liberals and Nationals’ war on science and returning science to the centre of government by resetting the relationship between government and Australia’s scientists and researchers.  
  • Investing $1 billion to boost TAFE, apprenticeships and skills, including scrapping upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students who choose to learn the skills that Australia needs to become a modern advanced manufacturing economy.  
  • Providing a $25 million food and fibre industry strategy to drive local jobs and innovation, as well as attract investment in manufacturing, particularly in rural and regional areas.   

A Shorten Labor Government has also released its comprehensive national policy for recreational fishing. There are well over 3 million keen recreational fishers who not only enjoy a healthy and enjoyable pastime, but also contribute an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy, including to the economies of many regional towns.  

Bill Shorten announced a comprehensive policy to address the national needs of recreational fishers on 2 May 2019: 

  • Providing a $45 million boost to improve recreational fishing infrastructure across Australia, building on our previously announced $10 million commitment. 
  • Investing $10 million into native fish breeding and stocking across Australia, replenishing 10 million native fish a year into Australia’s rivers. 
  • Granting $500,000 to the Give Back to Habitat campaign to support on-the-ground efforts to protect and restore fish habitats. 
  • Establishing the first Prime Ministerial Roundtable on Recreational Fishing, with industry leaders and recreational fishing groups meeting annually with the Prime Minister, and minister responsible for fisheries to discuss issues. 
  • Ensuring the small pelagic fishery is protected from large-capacity factory freezer trawlers, preventing the use of super trawlers. 
  • Continuing to support the national Recreational Fishing Council, giving our recreational fishers a regular seat at the decision-making table. 

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government have provided nothing but dysfunction and chaos for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Only Labor understands that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors need a strategic plan to secure their future sustainability profitability.  

End the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor. 

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  • Laurie Capill
    commented 2019-05-08 01:32:21 +1000
    I think your title should read ‘Aquaculture’