APPENDIX 1: Commission, executive and committees

APPENDIX 2: Civil litigation outcomes

APPENDIX 3: Management advisory committee memberships and meetings

APPENDIX 4: Freedom of information

APPENDIX 5: Work health and safety

APPENDIX 6: Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

APPENDIX 7: Disability reporting

APPENDIX 8: Consultancy services

APPENDIX 9: Procurement to support small business

APPENDIX 10: Total resources and total payments

APPENDIX 11: Expenses by outcomes

Commission and executive

AFMA Commissioners are appointed for their level of expertise in one or more of the fields of fisheries management, fishing industry operations, science, natural resource management, economics, business or financial management, law, public sector administration or governance. The new legislative amendments added expertise on matters relating to recreational or Indigenous fishing. Future appointments to the Commission will take the new requirements into consideration.

Photograph of AFMA Commissioners meeting with Northern Prawn Fishery operator in Darwin

Meeting with Northern Prawn Fishery operator in Darwin. AFMA Commissioners from left to right: Dr James Findlay (CEO), Mr Richard Stevens OAM, Ms Catherine Cooper (Deputy Chair), Mr Ian Cartwright, Prof Keith Sainsbury, Ms Renata Brooks, Ms Helen Kroger (Chairman). Photo Courtesy: Andrew Pearson, AFMA.

The following Commissioners held appointments during the reporting period 2017–18

Ms Helen Kroger – Chairman

Helen has held leadership positions in the private, public and not for profit sectors for the last 20 years. She is a former Liberal Senator for Victoria, Government Whip and active former member of numerous key Senate and Joint Committees. She has extensive board experience and advises corporations on regulatory and compliance, governance, communications and stakeholder management issues

Dr James Findlay – Chief Executive Officer

James is an AFMA Commissioner and AFMA’s Chief Executive Officer. He has a PhD in fisheries biology and has held senior government roles across fisheries science, policy and management. He has also held senior government roles in other natural resource management areas including climate adaptation and sustainable water use. He was a research consultant in aquatic animal health for the aquaculture industry and was a senior lecturer in genetics at the University of Tasmania.

Mr Richard Stevens OAM

Richard has been involved in the Australian seafood industry since 1977, holding senior executive positions at both the State and Commonwealth level. Since 2001, he has undertaken numerous reviews of fisheries management arrangements, including in South Australia, New South Wales and the Torres Strait. He currently chairs a number of fishery related committees, including the New South Wales Ministerial Fisheries Advisory Council and the Northern Territory Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee. Richard’s expertise covers natural resource management, policy and planning, and economics.

Mr Ian Cartwright

Ian has a Master of Science in Economics, is Chair of the Tasmanian Fisheries Research Advisory Board and Chair of various fisheries committees. His expertise covers commercial fishing, fisheries science, natural resource management, economics and business management.

Professor Keith Sainsbury

Keith is Director of SainSolutions, Professor of Marine Systems Science (University of Tasmania) and Vice-Chair of the Board of the Marine Stewardship Council. His internationally recognised expertise covers fisheries science, natural resource management and marine ecology.

Ms Catherine Cooper

Catherine currently chairs the South Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee and Aquaculture Advisory Council. Catherine is an industry leader and she was a finalist in both the 1997 and 1998 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She has extensive committee and board experience including as former Chair of the Fisheries Council of South Australia.

Ms Renata Brooks

Renata is an independent director and consultant. Previously she was Deputy Director General, Land and Natural Resources in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, with responsibility for the NSW crown land estate, natural resource policy and programs, and coordination of primary industry policy. She has held senior executive positions within the NSW Department of Primary Industries in the areas of science and research, agriculture, fisheries, biosecurity, compliance and mine safety.

AFMA commissioners – attendance at commission meetings

Five Commission meetings were held in 2017–18. The table below shows the number of meetings Commissioners attended.

Ms Helen Kroger5
Dr James Findlay5
Mr Richard Stevens OAM5
Mr Ian Cartwright5
Prof Keith Sainsbury5
Ms Catherine Cooper5
Ms Renata Brooks5






Role and function

The Executive is AFMA’s senior management team responsible to the Chief Executive Officer for the effective operation and performance of the agency.

  • Dr James Findlay – Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr Nick Rayns – Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch
  • Mr Peter Venslovas – General Manager, Operations Branch
  • Mr John Andersen – General Manager, (Chief Operations Officer),
  • Corporate Services Branch
  • Mr Andrew Pearson – Executive Secretary
  • Mr Robert Gehrig – Chief Finance Officer

Audit and Risk Committee

Role and function

The Audit and Risk Committee operates in line with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and provides independent advice and assurance to the Chief Executive Officer of the appropriateness of AFMA’s:

  • financial reporting including the annual audited financial statements
  • performance reporting including the framework for developing, measuring and reporting
  • systems of risk oversight and management including AFMA’s risk management and fraud control framework
  • systems of internal control – governance, risk management, compliance and business continuity management arrangements.

The Committee held four meetings during the reporting period.


The current Committee comprises one AFMA Commissioner and three independent members. These members are:

  • Ms Catherine Cooper – Chair (Commissioner)
  • Ms Mary Harwood
  • Mr Geoff Knuckey
  • Ms Kate Freebody
Regular Observers

The Committee has regular observers attending including:

  • General Manager Corporate Services Branch, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Information Officer; and AFMA Risk Manager
  • Audit representatives from Bellchambers Barrett (internal audit providers), Nexia (contracted external auditors) and the Australian National Audit Office.

AFMA’s Executive Secretariat provides administrative support for the Audit and Risk Committee.

Research Committee

Role and function

The role of AFMA’s Research Committee is to advise the AFMA Commission on the strategic directions, priorities and funding for monitoring and research relevant to meeting AFMA’s information needs and objectives. In doing so the primary functions of the Committee are to:

  • review and advise on research, monitoring and assessment priorities for Commonwealth fisheries
  • review AFMA’s five year research plans for Commonwealth fisheries managed by AFMA
  • provide advice to the AFMA Commission on allocation of AFMA research funds
  • assess research, monitoring and assessment investments for the Commonwealth fisheries for consistency with management needs

The Committee held three face-to-face meetings in 2017–18.

  • Mr Ian Cartwright (Chair and Commissioner)
  • Prof Keith Sainsbury (Commissioner)
  • Ms Renata Brooks (Commissioner)
  • Dr James Findlay (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Dr Nick Rayns (Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch)
Permanent Advisors
  • Ms Beth Gibson (Senior Manager, Policy, Environment, Economics and Research)
  • Ms Yvonne Zunic (Manager, Research)
Regular Observers

The Committee also invites regular observers from the following agencies and departments to attend and provide expert advice:

  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Oceans and Atmosphere
  • Commonwealth Fisheries Association
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Strategic Delivery Committee

The Strategic Delivery Committee met throughout 2017–18 to provide AFMA Executive oversight of all AFMA significant projects. The Strategic Delivery Committee uses a risk-based tiered approach to prioritise projects undertaken by AFMA to ensure appropriate governance and monitoring arrangements are in place. Each project is assessed based on risk factors that weigh the alignment and impact of the project on AFMA’s corporate objectives. The Strategic Delivery Committee monitors resources assigned and budget impacts to ensure that milestones/targets are met to achieve project success.

Major projects reviewed by the Strategic Delivery Committee in 2017–18 include development of the ICT Strategy, establishment of the Lakes Entrance office and accommodation changes associated with the Canberra office.

Co-ordination of the Strategic Delivery Committee is undertaken through the Committee Secretariat, AFMA’s Risk Manager.

  • Mr John Andersen (Chair and General Manager Corporate Services Branch)
  • Dr Nick Rayns (Executive Manager, Fisheries Management Branch)
  • Mr Peter Venslovas (General Manager, Fisheries Operations Branch)
  • Mr Robert Gehrig (Chief Finance Officer)
  • Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)
  • Ms Beth Gibson (Senior Manager, Policy, Environment, Economics and Research)
  • Mr Tod Spencer (Senior Manager, National Compliance Strategy)
  • Mr Cameron Pietsch (Risk Manager and Committee Secretariat)

Data and Information Governance Committee

AFMA extended the duties of its previous Information and Governance Committee to include the responsibilities of managing the agency’s data management holistically within the agency. The newly formed Data and Information Governance Committee (the Committee) is responsible for ensuring that data and information is treated as an asset and supports organisational outcomes. It ensures that risk and compliance issues are identified and addressed for as long as the data and information is required.

The Committee provides a strategic oversight to managing data, information and records to reduce business risk, increase accountability, and improve operational efficiencies. The Committee provides oversight to ensure data and information integrity and reliability, are searchable, accessible and that appropriate access controls are employed.

The Committee provides governance and oversight on a range of initiatives to improve AFMA’s data and information governance processes which are linked to the AFMA ICT Strategic Plan. The Committee also considers the impacts the Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda has on the agency and ensures that Whole of Government initiatives are taken into account when designing and implementing systems that involve the public and stakeholders.

Existing AFMA information governance documents are being reviewed and a consultant has been engaged to develop an overarching Information Management Strategy which will provide a pathway for meeting the requirements of the Australian Government’s Digital Continuity 2020 Policy.

  • Mr John Andersen (Chair and General Manager Corporate Services Branch)
  • Mr Michael Roses (Chief Information Officer)
  • Mr Ryan Murphy (Senior Manager, Fisheries Services)
  • Mr Tod Spencer (Senior Manager, National Compliance Strategy)
  • Mr Cameron Pietsch (Risk Manager)
  • Mr Thomas Kaufhold (Senior Records Management Officer and Secretariat)

Security Governance Committee

The AFMA Security Governance Committee met quarterly during 2017–18 to consider the current security governance arrangements and the security threats and vulnerabilities to AFMA. The Committee reviews AFMA’s personnel, physical and information security arrangements and ensures compliance with the Protective Security Policy Framework. In 2017–18 the Committee reviewed AFMA’s Security Governance hierarchy, discussed the response to the “Essential 8” information security mitigation measures recommended by the Australian Signals Directorate, drafted a Data Breach Response Plan and updated personnel security vetting procedures.

  • Mr John Anderson (Chair and General Manager Corporate Services Branch)
  • Mr Scott Connors (Senior Manager, Security and Property)
  • Mr Gavin Thomson (Network Infrastructure Manager)
  • Mr Dave Newton (Windows Technical Specialist)
  • Mr Cameron Pietsch (Risk Manager)
  • Mr Craig Rumball (Security Officer and Secretariat)

Civil litigation outcomes

The following table identifies civil litigation outcomes for matters open in 2017–18.

Federal Court
Commonwealth & AFMA Attempts
to challenge a foreign fishing vessel apprehension
ForeignMatter is ongoing.
Civil Litigation matter pending
Criminal Appeal decision delivered 13 April 2018. – Aregar v Cox (2018) NTCA 3
Abdul Khamid B Yatno v Commonwealth of Australia & Anor
Attempts to challenge a foreign fishing vessel apprehension
ForeignMatter is ongoing – Civil and Criminal Proceedings are on foot.
Malu Lamar (Torres Strait Islander) Corporation RNTBC v Findlay (as delegate of the Protected Zone Joint AuthorityTorres StraitVerbal reasons were handed down on 27 July 2018, with the effect that the decision to put the hookah prohibition in place on 30 April 2018 was quashed.
Orders as to costs are under consideration.
Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel
Administrative Appeal Tribunal
Whish-Wilson; Australian Fisheries Management Authority and (Freedom of Information)N/AFinalised
Whish-Wilson; Australian Fisheries Management Authority and (Freedom of Information) (2017) AATA 1098 (10 July 2017)
Fair Work Commission
Kildea v Commonwealth of AustraliaN/AMatter withdrawn by Applicant
Significant matters

Aregar & Damaryanta v the Commonwealth & AFMA – Attempts to challenge a foreign fishing vessel.

Malu Lamar (Torres Strait Islander) Corporation RNTBC v Findlay (as delegate of the Protected Zone Joint Authority – Successful challenge to a decision to impose a licence condition for Tropical Rock Lobster fishing licences.

Kildea v Commonwealth of Australia – Employment Matter.

Management advisory committee meetings and memberships

Management Advisory Committees are statutory committees established by AFMA under section 56 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991.

The committees provide advice to AFMA on the preparation of management arrangements, the operation of the relevant fishery and reporting to AFMA on scientific, economic and other information on the status of fish stocks, substocks, species (target and non-target species) and the impact of fishing on the marine environment. This advice is required to be evidence-based and address biological, economic and wider ecological factors affecting the performance of the fishery. Committee advice assists AFMA and the AFMA Commission in its role to regulate commercial fishing in Commonwealth fisheries, particularly the setting of catch limits and conditions.

The membership of Management Advisory Committees is available on AFMA’s web page:

Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee

The committee met twice in Sydney during 2017–18. The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable commercial catch limits for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery species and a change to the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery season to run on a calendar year. The committee also discussed:

  • the tuna fishery budgets, protected species issues
  • the progression of an Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery management strategy and progress towards a revised Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery ecological risk assessment
  • overcatch provisions, electronic monitoring and outcomes of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meetings.
Great Australian Bight Trawl Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once via teleconference and once in Adelaide during 2017–18. It made recommendations to the AFMA Commission in relation to total allowable catches for quota species. In addition, the committee discussed:

  • research priorities for the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector
  • co-management of the fishery with the Great Australian Bight Industry Association
  • cost recovery by AFMA for the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector
  • the future management of bight redfish under Offshore Constitutional Settlement arrangements with South Australia.
Northern Prawn Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once in Brisbane during 2017–18. At the meeting the committee:

  • discussed and made recommendations about the development of indicators that would allow industry to monitor important trends in the fishery
  • discussed options for an autonomous mechanism for fleet adjustment should fishing capacity become excessive
  • reviewed the work of the Northern Prawn Resource Assessment Group, including the review and update of the tiger prawn stock assessment
  • discussed and made recommendations about further trials of bycatch reduction devices to achieve the objectives of the bycatch strategy.
Southern Bluefin Tuna Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once in 2017–18 via teleconference. The committee discussed among other things the research outcomes from the 2017 Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Scientific Committee meeting.

The committee also discussed progress towards accounting for all forms of mortality and the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery annual research statement for 2018–19.

Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Advisory Committee

The committee met once during 2017–18 in Melbourne.

The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission for the 2018 season on total allowable catch and closures in accordance with the harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. The committee also provided advice regarding research priorities for the fishery and supported removal of the requirement to land scallops to a licenced fish receiver to streamline reporting arrangements while still maintaining the integrity of the management framework.

South East Management Advisory Committee

The committee met four times in 2017–18, two meetings by teleconference and two meetings in Canberra and Melbourne.

The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches and effort controls for the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, the Small Pelagic Fishery and the Southern Squid Jig Fishery.

Sub-Antarctic Management Advisory Committee

The committee held two meetings in 2017–18, one meeting via teleconference and one meeting in Hobart.

The committee made recommendations to the AFMA Commission on total allowable catches for Patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish and catch limits for bycatch species in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery. The committee also made recommendations on total allowable catch for Patagonian toothfish as well as catch limits for bycatch species in the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery.

The committee discussed the outcomes of the 2017 meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, lost longline gear in the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery and the extension of the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery longline season.

Freedom of information reporting

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. This requirement is in Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the Information Publication Scheme requirements.

Information on AFMA’s Freedom of Information reporting can be found at

Work health and safety

Work health and safety performance

AFMA recognises its responsibility and obligations as outlined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, and is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all of its employees, contractors, consultants and visitors. Health and wellbeing is considered to be of utmost importance and the need to integrate health and safety into all aspects of our work, whether in the office or in the field, is paramount.

AFMA’s Work Health and Safety Committee is a joint management and staff committee that is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all our staff, contractors, consultants and visitors. The committee met on four separate occasions during 2017–18.

The Work Health and Safety Committee:

  • assists with the development, implementation, review and update of policies and procedures in relation to Work Health and Safety
  • conducts incident reporting and consequent preventive measures
  • assists AFMA in the distribution and awareness of Work Health and Safety information.

During the reporting period, the committee endorsed the revised Freezer Guidelines policy. This policy was endorsed in May 2018 and provides our staff with key information regarding managing risks associated with inspecting freezers and cold stores on fishing vessels or vessels involved in fishing transhipment and fish receiver premises.

As part of AFMA’s Strategic Internal Audit Plan an audit was conducted on Work Health and Safety compliance. The focus of this audit was to ensure that AFMA was meeting the legislative requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act when conducting its business. Positive observations were made by the internal auditors in regard to the review of AFMA’s incident management procedures. In particular, reported Work Health and Safety incidents are discussed at the quarterly meetings of the Work Health and Safety Committee reviewing the nature of the incident, ensuring appropriate remedial action is undertaken and identifying preventative measures to reduce future risks of the same incident occurring. The report also noted that 83 per cent of respondents who had experienced a Work Health and Safety incident since 1 July 2015 had made positive comments about the follow up action and services received from the Workplace Group-Human Resources Team.

Health and safety initiatives

AFMA continues to recognise the importance for a heathy workplace together with mental health and general wellbeing. The 2017–18 health and wellbeing program offered our staff specific initiatives including onsite health checks and influenza vaccinations. The program also included various lunch time seminars and workshops on topics such as heart health, meditation, Steptember and a healthy eating seminar.

In supporting our approach to managing mental health in the workplace, Mental Health First Aid training was offered to all staff. The course was made mandatory for all executive level employees to ensure they are equipped with the necessary tools to be able to identify suspected incidents and provide support to someone within their team who may have a mental health issue.

All new starters to AFMA are provided with an assessment of their workstation as part of their new starter induction program. The Workplace Group-Human Resources Section undertook initial workstation assessments for all new starters and other staff as requested.

In addition to conducting workstation assessments, AFMA has sit-stand workstations across all our offices which can be used by our staff on a booking basis.

Accident or dangerous occurrence statistics

In 2017–18 AFMA recorded 25 minor incidents relating to accidents or near-misses (see Figure 2). This rate is up from 14 incidents in 2016–17 but continues to be on trend on previous years. It is likely that this increase is as a result of a greater emphasis and education to staff regarding the importance of incident reporting.

Figure 2: AFMA work health and safety incident reports comparison

AFMA work health and safety incidents reports comparison

Notifiable Incidents during the year

In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, AFMA is required to report ‘notifiable incidents’ which include the death of a person, serious injury or illness, or a dangerous incident which arises out of AFMA conducting its business. In 2017–18 there were 3 incidents that were required to be notified to Comcare as they fell within the definition of a Dangerous Occurrence under the Work Health and Safety legislation. The number of incidents is down from 2016–17.

There were no notices or prohibition notices issued in relation to these incidents reported that required AFMA to take remedial action.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

Legislation according with ecologically sustainable development principles

AFMA’s implementation of the ecological component of ecologically sustainable development is based on ecosystem elements relating to:

  • target and by-product species
  • bycatch
  • threatened, endangered and protected species
  • habitats and ecological communities.

To support and implement an ecologically sustainable development approach, AFMA draws upon ecological risk assessments for each Commonwealth fishery.

Ecological risk assessments involve a number of methods, including comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses. This approach screens out low risk activities, focusing on higher actual and potential risks within Commonwealth fisheries. The results of these risk assessments for each fishery are consolidated into a priority list upon which an ecological risk management strategy is focused. A detailed ecological risk management strategy for each AFMA-managed fishery has been prepared, clearly identifying how each species or group of species will be managed.

Key management policy initiatives in 2017–18 include:

  • the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines
  • the Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy
  • the Upper-Slope Dogfish Management Strategy
  • AFMA’s Bycatch Strategy
  • Bycatch and Discard Program
  • the Chondrichthyan Guide for Fisheries Managers
  • Dolphin Management Strategy based on individual responsibility
  • Seabird Management Plan based on individual responsibility

AFMA is transitioning to a Fisheries Management Strategy reporting framework where, on a fishery by fishery basis, all of the relevant parts of AFMA’s strategies and management arrangements are compiled into a comprehensive document about each fishery. These Fisheries Management Strategies documents will be used for reporting purposes.

AFMA has completed and published ecological risk management reports for all Commonwealth fisheries to address identified fishing risks. The number of species remaining at high potential risk across all Commonwealth fisheries is 83, which is 4.2 per cent of all species assessed. It is expected that this will reduce as fisheries are reassessed under the new Ecological Risk Assessment methodology using improved information gathered through increased observer coverage and the introduction of e-monitoring. The initial three reassessments resulted in a significant reduction in the number of “potential high risk species” identified, that is, in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery from seven to one species and Small Pelagic Fisheries (Mid Water Trawl) Fishery from eight to zero species. The Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery continues to have no identified “potential high risk species”.

Outcome contributing to ecologically sustainable development

AFMA’s outcomes are directed at Commonwealth fisheries being ecologically sustainable, improving the net economic returns from Commonwealth fisheries and managing efficiently and effectively.

This approach reflects AFMA’s commitment to pursuing management of Commonwealth fisheries in accordance with our legislative objectives and in partnership with others who also have an interest in sustainable management.

Effect of actions on the environment

All of AFMA’s managed fisheries are currently accredited under three parts of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Part 10 of the Act requires that all Commonwealth and Torres Strait Fisheries must be strategically assessed before a management plan is determined (Section 148) or where a determination is made, that a management plan is not required for a Commonwealth fishery (Section 149). If a management plan is amended or replaced, or management arrangements change significantly in a fishery without a management plan, then a further assessment is required (Section 152). If a management plan remains unchanged no further strategic assessment is required.

This process involves assessment of the impact of the fishery on matters of national environmental significance with particular emphasis on the impact on the Commonwealth marine environment. Without this approval a management plan cannot take effect.

Part 13 of the Act defines a number of offences in relation to listed threatened species and ecological communities, and also provides for accreditation of management plans or regimes (Sections 208A, 222A, 245, 265). The effect of accreditation is that certain actions are not offences if they are carried out in accordance with management plans or regimes. There is no requirement to remake the accreditation decisions unless the management plans or regimes change. These accreditations impose a requirement on fishers to report any interactions with protected species. As fishers are also required to report interactions to AFMA through logbooks, we regularly report these interactions to the Department of the Environment and Energy on fishers’ behalf thus reducing unnecessary duplication of reporting.

Part 13A of the Act covers the international movement of wildlife specimens. It provides for controls over the movement of regulated native specimens that are not on the list of exempt native specimens. Currently products from all assessed Commonwealth fisheries are on the list of exempt native specimens, although some are subject to the condition that the listing applies only while a wildlife trade operation is in force. This allows exports of marine species to be carried out while ensuring that they have been taken sustainably.

Actions to minimise impact on environment

AFMA takes an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management to minimise the impact of commercial fisheries on the marine environment. The Ecological Risk Management Policy, and accompanying Ecological Risk Management Guide, provide a science and evidence based structure for managing the impact of fishing on the marine environment. The framework uses Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing as the primary means of assessing the risks that fisheries may pose and provides a mechanism for the identification and management of any identified risks.

During 2016–17 AFMA commenced a trial of the revised methodologies in the Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing framework on the Small Pelagic Fishery midwater trawl sector and the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. These Ecological Risk Assessments were completed during 2017–18, with results reported above. Further research into the identification and management of risks posed to habitats and communities has been undertaken during 2017–18 with a view to completing a strategy in 2018–19.

Mechanisms for reviewing

A number of mechanisms exist for reviewing the effect of fishing on the environment.

AFMA reviewed its Ecological Risk Management framework and the Commission approved the Ecological Risk Management Guide and Ecological Risk Management Policy in April and June 2017 respectively. AFMA also regularly reviews individual elements of the Ecological Risk Management framework, with fishery management strategies and ecological risk assessments reviewed every five years and Bycatch and Discard Workplans reviewed every two years.

AFMA is also subject to reassessment of all its fisheries under Part 13A of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Department of Environment and Energy undertake the reassessments on a regular basis, ranging from a ten year review cycle for fisheries granted exemptions to a more regular review process for fisheries granted wildlife trade operations.

Our Environmental Footprint

Consistent with our legislative objectives, AFMA promotes a clean and green operating environment when conducting its operations to minimise our impact on the environment. To achieve this we are continually reviewing our operational activities to look for opportunities to minimise waste and limit the impact of our environmental footprint.

AFMA currently purchases approximately 25 per cent of green electricity for our Canberra office as part of the Commonwealth energy contract, and our Thursday Island office utilises a mixture of wind and diesel power. AFMA continues to review and implement regular energy improvements across our Canberra, Darwin and Thursday Island sites. This has included automatic shutdown of staff computers daily and purchasing more energy efficient equipment when required.

AFMA’s Canberra office has an overall 4.5 star energy rating; the Darwin office has a 5.5 star National Australian Built Environment Rating System energy rating and a five Star Green star rating. AFMA buildings include zoned air-conditioning and lighting and automatic light dimming in response to daylight sensors. Additionally, intermittently used rooms and spaces are motion sensor activated to reduce energy consumption. AFMA also participates in Earth Hour annually.

AFMA currently uses 100 per cent recycled paper in printers and copiers at all AFMA sites. In addition we make use of portable technology for staff to access documents via portable devices such as iPads and laptop computers to further reduce the reliance on paper documents. AFMA is trialling new laptop computers and associated Standard Operating Environments in line with AFMA’s ICT Strategic Plan that will enhance organisational capability and functionality and improve flexible working arrangements for AFMA staff.

Nationwide AFMA leases four motor vehicles. We have changed our internal policy allowing staff to use our energy efficient vehicles on more extended trips. As these leases fall due for renewal we will look for more energy efficient vehicles that meet our needs.

AFMA continues to make other changes around its offices that have important impacts in reducing AFMA’s environmental footprint. For example a composting system is in place for the Canberra office which reduces general office waste and is proving successful.

Disability reporting

Since 1994, Commonwealth non-corporate entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. Details of the strategy and associated reports can be found at

Consultancy services

During 2017–18, 35 new consultancy contracts were entered into and this resulted in expenditure of $2.183 million for the period. In addition, 35 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2017–18 resulting in expenditure of $2.056 million.

All consultancy contracts entered into by AFMA above the value of $10 000 are available via the Austender website

The selection and engagement of consultants

The majority of consultancy services engaged during the 2017–18 were for fisheries research purposes. The selection and engagement of research consultants was primarily conducted through a limited tender because of the small pool of qualified vendors for these specific services.

Procurement to assist small business

AFMA supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and medium enterprises and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website:

How AFMA’s procurement practices support small and medium enterprises

As a government organisation that interfaces with many small and medium enterprises as part of our daily engagement with the fishing industry and broader community, AFMA has procurement policies that do not unfairly discriminate against small and medium enterprises and provide appropriate opportunities for small and medium enterprises to compete. AFMA’s procurement policies specify that, officials should consider in the context of value for money:

  • the benefits of doing business with competitive small and medium enterprises when specifying requirements and evaluating value for money
  • barriers to entry, such as costly preparation of submissions, that may prevent small and medium enterprises from competing
  • small and medium enterprises capabilities and their commitment to local or regional markets
  • the potential benefits of having a larger, more competitive supplier base.

Total resources and total payments

Australian Fisheries Management Authority Resource Statement 2017–18

 Actual available appropriation 2017–18 $’000Payments made 2017–18 $’000Balance remaining 2017–18 $’000
Ordinary annual services
Departmental appropriation
Departmental appropriation20,51420,46648
s. 74 Retained revenue receipts4,8564,856
Administered expenses
Outcome 15,4241,0704,354
Total ordinary annual services A30,79426,3924,402
Special Accounts
Opening balance14,036  
Appropriation receipts34,815  
Non-appropriation receipts to
Special Accounts4,856  
Payments made 39,468 
Total Special Accounts B53,70739,46814,239
Total resourcing and payments (A+B)84,50165,86018,641
Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts and/or payments to corporate entities through annual appropriations(25,370)(25,322)(48)
Total net resourcing for AFMA59,13140,53818,593

Reader note: All figures are GST exclusive

Expenses by outcomes

Expenses for Outcome 1

Outcome 1: Ecologically sustainable and economically efficient Commonwealth fisheries, through understanding and monitoring Australia’s marine living resources and regulating and monitoring commercial fishing, including domestic licensing and deterrence of illegal foreign fishing.

 2017–18 Budget $’0002017–18 Actual expenses $’0002017–18 Variance $’000
Programme 1.1: Australian Fisheries Management Authority(a)(b)(a) – (b)
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)5,4241,0704,354
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation1922,78224,905(2,123)
Special accounts14,23814,349(111)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year201,8531,034819
Total for Programme 1.144,29741,3582,939
Outcome 1 Totals by appropriation type
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)5,4241,0704,354
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation22,78224,905(2,123)
Special accounts14,23814,349(111)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year1,8531,034819
Total expenses for Outcome 144,29741,3582,939
Average staffing level (number)177.0171.85.2
Note: Departmental appropriation splits and totals are indicative estimates and may change in the course of the budget year as government priorities change

19 Departmental appropriation combines “Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)” “Retained Revenue Receipts under s74 of the PGPA Act 2013”.
20 Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year’ is made up of depreciation expense and amortisation expense for both Departmental and Administered items.