Feature story

SIMPLIFYING COMMONWEALTH FISHERIES RULES AND REGULATIONS

Substantial progress was made during the year on a regulatory simplification project aimed to simplify the rules and regulations applying to Commonwealth fisheries.

Currently, commercial fishing operators are required to comply with a large number of rules contained in the Fisheries Management Act 1991, Fisheries Management Regulations 1992, individual fishery regulations and individual fishery management plans. To make matters more complicated, the same rule can be written differently in a number of different instruments.

The simplification project aims to deliver:

  • standardised rules across all fisheries
  • much simpler rules in each fishery management plan
  • standard conditions on all fishing concessions

The project has taken 18 months to complete and required an extensive review and analysis by the project team of all existing rules in order to produce a simplified plain English set of standard rules that apply over all Commonwealth fisheries.

Once the new regulations are in place, the corresponding rules contained in individual fishery regulations and management plans will become redundant and will be removed.

Completion of the regulatory simplification project will be a significant step in the ongoing challenge of regulatory reform.

The new regulations are anticipated to be in place by the end of July 2011.

Andrew Powell and Brendan Kearney from AFMA’s regulatory simplification project team discarded all the old, inconsistent, duplicated and triplicate rules and refined, combined and reorganised them into a much simpler format.

Andrew Powell and Brendan Kearney from AFMA’s regulatory simplification project team discarded all the old, inconsistent, duplicated and triplicate rules and refined, combined and reorganised them into a much simpler format.