Monday 28 June 2010

Estimates Committee B (Thorp)

2.3  Fisheries security - State and Australian Government -

Mr FINCH - Going back to table 9.2, on page 9.4, that refers to the State and Australian governments, can you give us any detail of how fisheries security is divided between the two, and that cooperation with the Commonwealth authorities?

Ms THORP - The Australian Fisheries Management Authority contracts Tasmania Police on a fee-for-service basis to provide compliance and enforcement activity in certain Commonwealth administered fisheries.  Marine and rescue service officers conduct both sea and air surveillance patrols of Commonwealth marine reserves adjacent to Tasmania in accordance with contractual obligations between the Australian Government, the former Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and Tasmania Police.  It is almost a contract basis.

Mr FINCH - So what financial advantage does that give to Tasmania; what are those contracts worth?

Ms THORP - It is fee-for-service so I do not think that there is a profit base there.

Mr HINE - It is about $400 000 a year so it is user pays.  If they require us to police the industry and police certain things, then they give us certain boundaries then they pay for that service.

Ms THORP - There is no profit involved in that so that $400 000 would represent the effort expended by Tasmania Police in carrying out the terms of the contract.

Mr HINE - We certainly get a benefit.  We are out there policing our waters on behalf of the Commonwealth and also patrolling out there as well.  It is a win-win situation.