Levy plan stuns NT seafood industry
THE NT Seafood Council believes its members will be stunned by news of a mandatory levy for marine safety, which will be imposed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from July 1 next year.
NT Seafood Council chief executive officer Katherine Winchester said the release of estimated costs for the industry of the levy had come as a shock.
"AMSA's consultation paper released today (Monday, August 15) is the first time industry has been provided with cost estimates to manage a National System," Mrs Winchester said.
"It is expected that this news will be beyond belief for NT licensed operators, especially when the decision to move to a National System was approved back in 2009 without any consultation, until today, of the costs and implications for their seafood businesses.
"NT Seafood Council expects operators in the NT professional seafood industry will be furious at an additional cost to their business without evidence of any benefit to their vessel and personal safety.
"The proposed new levy, which could be between $300 to $3000 per vessel per year, is flagged to be implemented at the beginning of next financial year.
"We are gravely concerned impacts to the NT maritime industry have not been adequately assessed."
Mrs Winchester said neither the NT Seafood Council or its members had been provided with a case study outlining the costs before and after the National System.
"The majority of our members only fish in NT waters and it makes no sense to move to a National System if it costs more and delivers the same or, worse, a more expensive service," Mrs Winchester said.
The NT Seafood Council has contacted the NT Department of Transport to flag the need to work together to minimise impacts on the NT seafood industry.
Mrs Winchester said since 2010 the NT Seafood Council had sought a cost analysis of the implementation and maintenance phase of the National System to allow industry to prepare or negotiate with the appropriate authority to negate or minimise the potential financial implications for operators.