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Aquaculture Red Tape Cut

Economics +1 more

AUSTRALIA - The State Government has slashed red tape for aquaculture projects.

Under changes announced by Environment Minister Donna Faragher and Fisheries Minister Norman Moore, existing and proposed aquaculture developments would no longer need works approval and licensing under the Environmental Protection (EP) Act.

This is expected to save the industry up to $100,000 each year in licensing fees.

Mrs Faragher said the change would remove duplication in regulating aquaculture activities that were also subject to regulation under the Fish Resources Management Act.

“Previously, aquaculture operators needed to obtain a works approval and licence from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and an aquaculture licence from the Department of Fisheries,” she said.

“The new arrangement should result in a marked reduction in the time and cost it takes for aquaculture industry operators to comply with regulatory and reporting requirements.”

Mr Moore said the two departments had endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and three Codes of Practice covering all aspects of the aquaculture industry.

This would ensure environmental outcomes from this industry would be maintained and improved.

“The Department of Fisheries will now manage operational, compliance and enforcement activities associated with the WA aquaculture industry,” Mr Moore said.

“Fisheries also will manage any complaints, but will refer events to DEC where the powers of the EP Act may need to be used.

“The codes of practice will be used in conjunction with the MoU to assist aquaculture industry operators to further build environmentally sustainable production by detailing management practices that minimise environmental impacts.”