Last month, Minister Tinley provided a response letter approving all of the WRL proposed amendments to the WCRLMF Management Plan to help minimise the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WRL has received several queries about the modified fee arrangements for the following two seasons, so this article is intended to clarify some of those questions.
The WA Government has agreed to fee relief for the western rock lobster fishery by delaying and deferring the collection of GVP fees. Essentially this means the access fees relating to the 5.5 month extension of the current season will now be added to the GVP fees payable for the 2022/23 season.
In his letter, Minister Tinley endorses the following access fees payment schedule changes for the current and next two seasons:
- The third instalment payment for access fees in the current extended season to be deferred from 15 September 2020 to 15 March 2021. No additional access fees will be payable for the current 2020/21 season despite the 5.5-month extension. This will allow fishers an extended period of income without paying access fees.
- The access fees for the reduced 2021/22 season (6.5 months) commencing on 1 July 2021 will be 50% of what would have been paid if the season was 15 January 2021 to 14 January 2022.
- The revised access fees for the reduced 2021/22 season (6.5 months) commencing on 1 July 2021 may be paid upfront or via three instalments (due 1 July, 15 September and 15 November 2021).
- The revised access fees for the 2022/23 season (a return to the normal 12-month season) will be the standard GVP fees covering 15 January 2022 to 14 January 2023 PLUS the remaining unpaid 50% of the access fees if the previous season was 15 January 2021 to 14 January 2022.
- The revised access fees for the 2022/23 season may be paid upfront in January 2022 or via three instalments (due 15 January, 15 May and 15 September 2022).
Minister Tinley noted that the amount of the access fees will be available in the Fish Resources Management Regulations 1995 (WA) in due course.
Whilst there will be no net reduction in the fees paid, the intended purpose of the fee rescheduling is to minimise fee payment when expected profitability is at it lowest due to market closure or recovery.
These fee arrangements (as well as the other Management Plan amendments agreed to by Minister Tinley) will be discussed in next week’s coastal tour. Click here for details of the times and locations of each meeting. However, if you have any further questions or queries in the meantime please contact Paige on (08) 9432 7723 or firstname.lastname@example.org