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Oyster Industry Meets Over Fees

AUSTRALIA - Oyster growers are meeting with State Liberal members about the increase in fees under a cost recovery scheme.

On average growers will have to pay a 450 per cent increase in annual fees, with some facing as much as a 20-fold increase that small operators say they cannot afford to pay, writes Stacey Davidson for The Port Lincoln Times.

"Employees will be the first casualty of this new impost," Member for Flinders Liz Penfold told the Times.

According to the news organisation, Mrs Penfold and opposition fisheries spokesman Adrian Pederick have received a deluge of complaints from disgruntled growers whose requests to government for an explanation of the fee increases have been ignored.

The department's new cost recovery system is based on oyster sites and licences held, regardless of size or productivity, leaving a perceived inequity between the aquaculture industry sectors.

Mr Pederick said the oyster growing industry had made it clear it was prepared to pay its fair share of the department's administration costs.

"But they want to see the figures that show the cost of administering their industry relative to others. So far all their direct requests for this information have been ignored," he said.

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