GPC to Compensate Commercial Fishers for Loss of Access (Australia)
Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) has released details of a compensation package to commercial fishers affected by loss of access to commercial fishing grounds in certain parts of Catch Sites 12, 13, 17 and 18 in the Gladstone harbour due to the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project (WBDDP). The affected parts in these Catch Sites are the Impact Sites.
Chief Executive Officer Leo Zussino said GPC has worked in conjunction with the Queensland Government to create a fair and reasonable compensation package for commercial fishers that fish in the Impact Sites.
“The compensation to commercial fishers is to meet conditions 20 and 21 in Schedule 3 of the Queensland Coordinator General’s conditions granting approval for GPC for the WBDDP,” Mr Zussino said.
GPC will separately create a $1.5 million fund for the revitalisation and promotion of the Gladstone seafood industry.
The compensation package therefore consists of two components:
• First Component – The compensation scheme for loss of access is targeted towards directly affected holders of commercial fishing licences operating in the Impact Sites. The quantum of compensation will be calculated based on 50% of the claimant’s annual average gross value of fishing product for its best two years from each of the Impact Sites from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2010 multiplied by a multiplier of 3.
• Second Component – A Gladstone Seafood Industry Rehabilitation Fund for $1.5 million that will contribute to the development and rehabilitation of the local seafood industry in Gladstone by way of investment into research programs, and contributions to other forms of local seafood industry rehabilitation.
GPC will be supported by relevant Government agencies with previous expertise in implementing similar compensation schemes to ensure GPC’s appropriate and timely delivery of the compensation scheme to commercial fishers.
The Gladstone Seafood Rehabilitation Fund will be established under an independent chairman who will develop appropriate committee representation and recommendations as to the proper use of the funding for the consideration of GPC.
Mr Zussino said the process will start early in the new year with the appropriate authorities visiting Gladstone to brief commercial fishers on the process to access compensation.
“The Gladstone Ports Corporation looks forward to affected commercial fisherman receiving compensation during the first half of 2013”, Mr Zussino added.
Commercial fishing operators interested in claiming compensation for the loss of access to impact sites will be advised by GPC early in 2013 as to the application process and planned timetable for compensation.
Press Release, December 19, 2012