The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) today released an issues paper on regulatory reform to promote the growth of aquaculture in Queensland.
“Queensland has a successful aquaculture industry, especially in prawn and barramundi farming. However, there are worrying signs that the industry may be falling short of achieving its full potential. Volumes and prices for Queensland products have not kept pace with growth in other states. Over the last 10 years, there have been no major aquaculture developments in Queensland,” QCA Chairman Malcolm Roberts said.
To unlock the potential of the sector, the Queensland Government has asked the QCA to investigate whether regulatory reforms could boost growth in the local industry.
“Streamlining regulation could reduce obstacles to new investment and help the industry to grow and diversify.
For example, many in the industry are attracted to the option of consolidating regulation into a single aquaculture act, as has been done in South Australia,” said Malcolm Roberts.
“The QCA is very aware of the need to maintain environmental and biosecurity standards. We will be looking to find ways to make regulation simpler and more cost-effective rather than proposing changes to appropriate standards.
“The QCA will also need to take into account overlapping State and Commonwealth jurisdictions.
“After early consultations with interested parties, the QCA has produced an issues paper which captures the key issues for the inquiry.
“Stakeholders are invited to have their say on the issues paper available on our website,” said Malcolm Roberts.
Submissions should reach us by 24 March 2014. A draft report will be released for public comment in May and the final report to be provided to the State Government by 15 September 2014.
For more information, and to register your interest, go to www.qca.org.au