MEDIA RELEASE: Seven Months Late - NSW Government must release report into Commercial Fisheries

NSW Labor is demanding to know why an independent assessment into the Government’s disastrous commercial fishing reforms is seven months late, with many operators still struggling to stay afloat after the restructure. The Labor Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Jenny Aitchison today delivered a Notice of Motion at NSW Parliament calling on the Government to immediately release the Barclay Review, which examined the impact of the Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program (BAP). Ms Aitchison said the findings, which were due for release in December, will shed light on the chaos and confusion the Government’s wrought on the fishing industry. “The reforms on catch quotas and fishing vessels were meant to make the industry more viable but it’s had the opposite effect,” Ms Aitchison said. “I speak to commercial fishers and they’re really struggling. Many of their businesses are unviable. Emotionally, they’re at breaking point. “It is important the Government faces up to its mistakes and the community understands the true impact of these changes. The long promised Barclay Review was due in December but still hasn’t been released. What is the Government hiding? “The Minister’s complete lack of action to deliver the Barclay Report findings is an appalling attempt to cover up a botched reform process which has left commercial fishers across the state in financial ruin.” Ms Aitchison recently submitted the following GIPA request to the Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall: “I request access to all materials, emails, briefings, modelling and correspondence between Minister Marshall and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment regarding the independent assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the NSW Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program - The Barclay Report.” The Minister’s office advised they conducted a search of Minister Marshall’s email account and ‘the search did not yield any applicable results.’ Ms Aitchison said: “For a Minister to have no correspondence between his office and his own department regarding the Barclay Report is utterly unacceptable. “The Minister’s Office didn’t even list any ‘Cabinet in Confidence’ documents in the Schedule of Documents. Does the Barclay Report even exist?”