Recreational fishing in Australia is an important leisure activity that contributes positively towards the economic and social benefits into the Australian community, and is part of life for Australian of all ages and from all socio-economic backgrounds. The recreational sector is larger and more widely dispersed than any other recreational activity that utilizes a natural resource. From Mom and Pop fishers who may fish once a year, to game fishers whose boat and fishing equipment run upto an investment of thousands of dollars, recreational fishing contributes to the health and well-being of many Australian’s and provides economic and social benefits to regional areas.
The Australian Government plays an important stewardship role in facilitating the development of the recreational fishing industry as a sustainable, long term and valuable contributor to the Australian economy. As most recreational fishing occurs within state and territory waters, state and territory governments are responsible for the day-to-day management of recreational fisheries, including the recreational components of some Commonwealth managed commercial fisheries such as game fishing.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck has his focus directed upon Government’s commitment to the sector while addressing the National Recreational Fishing Conference and Tournament on the Gold Coast.
A massive contribution of whopping $2.56 billion is expected from the recreational fishers into the nation’s economy. Hence the Australian Government is working to further strengthen lines of communication with the recreational fishers.
The Government recognizes these values and according to Senator Colbeck, the government is committed to ensuring a sustainable recreational fishing sector. That’s why $550,000 has been dedicated to encourage national leadership for the recreational fishing sector. This funding will enable the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) to deliver a range of initiatives to promote sustainable fishing practices and build a social licence with the Australian community.
ARFF also intend to use the grant to revise and promote a national Code of Practice for recreational fishing which will set out aspirational goals for behavior of the sector. Australian Government is also working towards finalizing the terms of reference and membership for the National Recreational Fishing Council. This Council will help ensure recreational fishers have a strong voice in informing government policies and programs.
COAG Energy Meet keeps Nation First
Emphasis was strongly reinstated upon Energy and Resources Sectors during the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) meeting held at Perth past week. Federal Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane said that energy reform had focused on setting up a safe, reliable and interconnected market that could deliver energy to Australian households and businesses. But with the energy market changing so rapidly and a growing expectation from customers that they be more involved in their energy choices, the COAG Energy Council must therefore be much more dynamic and flexible, he said.
Being the COAG Energy Council’s first meeting since the Australian Government released its Energy White Paper in April, efforts were focused in the direction of ensuring that energy regulation evolved alongside the changes akin to disruptive technologies and setting a route for effective sourcing, delivery and energy usage.
Macfarlane emphasized that COAG Energy Council will work towards providing strategic direction with an aim to stay ahead of the game rather than playing catch up. Utilizing the wealth of experience and resources that COAG has at its disposal and its long history of successfully delivering significant reforms to industry, investors and consumers, is a top priority, he added.
Macfarlane said the COAG Energy Council would also be considering challenges to Australia’s mineral and energy exporters including global oversupply, enduring low prices, cost pressures, competition for investment and structural change in traditional markets.
Ice Taskforce directed towards effective National Ice Strategy
The Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott presented the National Ice Taskforce interim report to COAG, as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to the development of a National Ice Strategy.
Six priority areas found special mention of act-now initiative concerning Australia’s Ice Scourge therein. The toll effect of Ice Epidemic on the Australian inhabitants regarding use of excessive Ice as well as the Drug Methamphetamine triggered alarming concerns in the Ice Strategy layout. The Taskforce will continue working with the Prime Minister, the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs, the states and territories and the Australian Local Government Association to develop a final report and strategy to be considered by COAG before the end of the year.
The priority areas shortlisted include –
· focusing upon effective, time-bound law enforcement actions
· targeting primary prevention rather than waiting for a later cure
· improving access to early intervention and delivering appropriate treatment packaged with timely support services
· supporting local communities to respond by bringing people together
· improving tools for frontline workers, and
· improving and consolidating research and data and building up a relevant database.
National ICT Careers Week – ‘Big Day In’
The National ICT Careers Week got initiated in Brisbane by the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews. Tagged as ‘BIG Day In’, this initiative was actively attended by around 300 school students from the senior secondary and early tertiary grades.
Andrews said that Australian Government was keen to encourage the career option of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) as a potential professional choice for young career seekers. She detailed that around 100,000 ICT specialists will be required by 2020 in Australia. Even in the non-ICT industries like offices, farms, construction sites, Andrews sensed a need for such professionals in the coming future.
“Our initiatives to inspire students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and gain essential skills, includes $3.5 million over four years for Coding across the Curriculum. This will assist students in acquiring critical skills in problem solving and support the introduction of computer coding across different year levels in Australia”, Andrews added.
The ‘Big Day In’ is part of National ICT Careers Week, run by the Australian Computer Society and supported by universities, schools and industry to offer more than 100 events focusing on ICT career opportunities for young people to pursue. The Australian Government supports the ‘Big Day In’ through its $6 million Digital Careers program.