Tara Moriarty discusses developments with Fisheries members.
For the first time in 12 years, PSA and Fisheries Officers Vocational Branch (FOVB) representatives met with the Regional NSW Minister.
Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW, and Minister for Western NSW, Tara Moriarty is pictured with Delegates Matt Cartwright and Joe Wright, and Assistant General Secretary Troy Wright She discussed the PSA’s push for a review of the Fisheries Management Act 1994. In 2019, promises of a new act under the previous Government never materialised in the face of opposition from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Right to Fish Bill that year.
“It is our members’ view is that this piece of legislation and its subsequent amendments are nearly 30 years old and desperately need to be brought into the 21st century,” said Mr Troy Wright. “This involves giving Fisheries Officers the powers to properly investigate and curtail illegal extraction of seafood and to provide assistance and regulation to the various law-abiding commercial fishing industries.
“It is about providing the legal framework and protections to assist our members to administer their compliance roles in a safe manner. And finally, it is also about providing clarity to the complex legal issues surrounding the rights of Indigenous Australian’s undertaking processes of cultural fishing and native title. Nearly all recreational, commercial and Indigenous fishers do the right thing. It’s about getting the settings right so that those people who would illegally extract our precious seafood resources are held to account and that the resource is protected for future generations.”
No union meeting with a Minister would be complete without a discussion on pay and conditions.
“The PSA believes this is the time to review the Fisheries Employees Award as it no longer suits the agency or the staff that work under it,” said Mr Wright. “The PSA wants the work done by Fisheries employees to be properly recognised and remunerated and a renegotiation of the Award has the potential to do this.
“We’re grateful that the Minister took the time out to meet with the public servants who provide boots on the ground. We want to work together to find solutions to often complex issues that were all too hard and inconvenient for the previous Government.
“We look forward to continuing our productive discussions with Minister Moriarty over the course of this Parliamentary term to make our Department of Primary Industries
Fisheries members’ working lives better.”