Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - State of Queensland

05/31/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2024 00:27

Net buybacks, boat refit grants on offer for eligible fishers

Net buybacks, boat refit grants on offer for eligible fishers

Published Today at 02:30 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Net buybacks, boat refit grants and grants for supply chain businesses significantly impacted by the phase-out of gillnets are available in the final stage of the $125 million structural adjustment payments for commercial fishing sector members affected by the implementation of reforms in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Great Sandy Marine Park (GSMP) and Gulf of Carpentaria.

Available in stage 3 are:

  • buybacks of useable gillnets at a rate of $12.50 a metre, and an opportunity for unusable gillnets and mesh panels to be surrendered free-of-charge. Nets will be recycled and repurposed into products such as carpets and sunglasses
  • grants of up to $50,000 for gillnet boat refits
  • matched diversification and resilience grants of up to $100,000 for GBR and GSMP supply chain businesses that have lost 75% or more of their business turnover due to the changes.

Stage 2 support also remains open for:

  • Gulf of Carpentaria commercial fishers impacted by the recently announced gillnet-free areas
  • skippers and crew of commercial fishers affected by the phase-out of gillnets in the GBR, changes to the GSMP zoning plan, or the new Gulf of Carpentaria gillnet-free areas
  • commercial fishers without N1, N2 or N4 on their licence who want to surrender their licence or symbols
  • GSMP commercial aquarium fishers
  • hammerhead shark commercial fishers.

The $3,000 grants for independent advice, and quota and loss of income payments released late last year, are still available for eligible fishers in the GBR and GSMP.

Applications can be made via the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, while free and confidential assistance in completing applications is available from the Rural Financial Counselling Service in southern Queensland or northern Queensland.

The State Government has partnered with Stay Afloat, who are providing free and confidential social and emotional wellbeing support to to those affected in the commercial fishing sector.

Commercial fishing sector supply chain businesses are also able to access Queensland Government support, grants and mentoring programs.

Visit https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/commercial/future-fishing for more information.

Quotes attributable the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner:

"This suite of measures is part of the Queensland Government's commitment to reducing high-risk fishing activities that threaten the World Heritage status of our wonderful Great Barrier Reef.

"They form part of the commitment we made to UNESCO to protect the reef for future generations to enjoy.

"The Queensland Government is dedicated to making sure this process is as streamlined and effective as possible for all those who are impacted by these changes."

Stage 2 applications close on 30 June 2024 and Stage 3 applications close 30 January 2025.

Apply online @ QRIDA or call 1800 623 946.

ENDS