STAKEHOLDER SATISFACTION

OUR STAKEHOLDERS

When developing and implementing fisheries management arrangements, AFMA works in partnership with key stakeholders including Indigenous interests commercial fishing operators and associations, charter fishing, researchers, recreational environment/conservation organisations and where appropriate, others who have an interest in how Australia’s Commonwealth fisheries are managed.

AFMA engages with stakeholder groups through a variety of avenues, including management advisory committees, liaison officers, port visits, newsletters, AFMA Update and direct mail across all major Commonwealth fisheries. These mechanisms provide an important advisory function and maintain an open dialogue between AFMA and those with an interest in the management of the fisheries.

As part of the multi-agency Border Protection Command, we provide specialist fisheries advice to the maritime security community and are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Border Protection Command delivers an integrated approach to Australia’s maritime security threats and a key part of its success is the progress made by a number of Australian Government agencies in working with countries to develop their capacity in maritime security. With these agencies, AFMA is building strategic partnerships with countries to exchange information, provide training support and facilitate officer exchange programs that enhance our region’s capacity to maximise fisheries resources sustainably.

AFMA works in partnership with key stakeholders when developing management arrangements.

AFMA works in partnership with key stakeholders when developing management arrangements.

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

The Fisheries Management Act 1991 contains specific provisions on the communication and consultation processes and channels for communicating information about regulation. This is particularly important when we are developing or amending managements plans for the different fisheries under the control of the Commonwealth.

We communicate formally in writing with all Commonwealth fishing concession holders regarding regulation of their access to Commonwealth fisheries.

In addition to statutory processes, we consult extensively with stakeholders on management decisions. The main point of contact with stakeholders is through management advisory committees for each of the major fisheries. There is more information on management advisory committees in Appendix 4 on pages 170–174.

Stakeholders are regularly updated about changes to regulations, Commission decisions and other changes via the AFMA website, and through our fortnightly newsletter AFMA Update which is sent directly to subscribers and also made available on the website.

We convey information about regulation at port visits and public meetings. Open port meetings are a regular occurrence in fisheries, and are always held to discuss proposed management plans.

AFMA has the ability to use integrated computer vessel monitoring systems, a satellite-based system, to communicate with fishing vessels via text message or email anywhere in the world. 

MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES

AFMA’s management advisory committees are established under the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 to assist AFMA in the management of its fisheries. They comprise a chair, an AFMA fisheries manager, up to seven other members and, in some instances, additional invited participants. Members generally consist of commercial fishers, processors, environmental groups, marine researchers, recreational fishers, charter boat operators and relevant state and Commonwealth agencies.

In response to an agency-wide business efficiency review, the number of management advisory committees was reduced from twelve to nine on 1 July 2009. On 1 July 2010, the number of management advisory committees was further reduced from nine to seven. The committees that operated throughout 2010–11 are as follows:

  • Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee (TTMAC)
  • Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector Management Advisory Committee (GABMAC)
  • Northern Prawn Fishery Management Advisory Committee (NORMAC)
  • Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery Management Advisory Committee (SBTMAC)
  • Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC)
  • South East Management Advisory Committee (SEMAC)
  • Sub-Antarctic Fisheries Management Advisory Committee (SouthMAC)

AFMA will work closely with GABMAC and SEMAC on transitioning these two committees to a single committee by 1 July 2013.

For information on specific management advisory committees, their memberships and meetings held during 2010–11, see appendix 4.

CLIENT SERVICE CHARTER

AFMA’s Client Service Charter sets out the services and standards that all clients or stakeholders can expect from AFMA. It applies to all of our fisheries administration and corporate services, including our licensing function. The Client Service Charter is available on AFMA’s website.

AFMA has performed well against the customer service standards in our Client Service Charter and continues to streamline processes to improve our customer service. In 2010–11, GOFish (AFMA’s electronic licensing system) has assisted in improving the timeliness of responses for licensing transactions. GOFish allows concession holders to lease and transfer concessions and nominate a selected boat without the assistance of AFMA licensing staff.

Around 43 percent of fishing concession holders used GOFish during 2010–11. AFMA is seeking a target of 80 percent and will be implementing a range of strategies in 2011–12 to increase use.

Of the licensing transactions completed manually, 97 percent were within the timeframes provided in the client service charter. This figure relates to manual transactions submitted by concession holders and responses to correspondence and information requests.

AFMA has commenced using MinCor4 to track all executive and ministerial correspondence received.

During 2010–11 AFMA was notified of one complaint to the ombudsman. This complaint is still the subject of investigation. 

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