This is Australia …… warts and all

The Hon Bob Baldwin

AFTA Independant Chair

AFTA Chairs Report January 2022

Let me start by wishing you and your team a Happy & very successful New Year. Surely things in 2022 can only be better for our members.

That being said, if we are not battling governments of all persuasions to get action on our issues of concern, we are dealing with COVID and the related issues and then to top it off, Queensland & NT members are dealing with the effects of Cyclones and flooding.   ……..

Whilst Qld has finally opened its borders without restrictions, WA has locked them down even tighter due to Omicron.

Well, as they say in the timeless GANGgajang song, “This is Australia …… warts and all.”

New South Wales

NSW has a new Minister responsible for Recreational Fishing, Dugald Saunders, Member for Dubbo. It is refreshing that he has started putting the rubber on the road in relation to recreational fishing by teaming up with Daily Telegraph writer Al McGlashan and heading out for a fish.

AFTA sincerely thanks Adam Marshall for all of his support. The former Minister’s door was always open, and he fully supported the AFTA NSW “Let’s Go Fishing” Schools Program and the soon-to-be-released “Let’s Fish NSW” social media campaign.

In addition, we have finally seen a positive outcome with the draft Animal Welfare Bill which has now been published (

By working closely with the Minister & NSW DPI Fisheries, AFTA have succeeded in moving the aspect of Live Baiting from a “defence of the action” to a “specific exemption” as per:

Division 2 Exemptions and related matters 119 Specific exemptions

(1) A person’s act or omission in relation to an animal is not an offence under this Act or the regulations if the act or omission occurred—

(g)  for the purpose of using a live fish, decapod crustacean or cephalopod as bait or as a lure to take, or attempt to take, fish, or


The reforms to the Spanish Mackerel Fishery in Qld are still at an interesting point. AFTA is pursuing the Minister for a meeting to discuss the justification in the modelling and methodology of the stock assessment.

Members need to understand that AFTA, led by Qld Director Kord Luckus, have continually questioned the modelling of the sustainable stock & capture rate by Qld Fisheries not just to the Minister but at all levels in Qld.

We will keep members informed as to the progress of discussions. AFTA Members need to be concerned; please stay in touch for updates.

South Australia

With the SA election due on 19 March 2022, AFTA has proactively reached out to the Minister, Shadow Minister, Political Parties, and Independents to further discussions on SA Recfishing policy platforms for the election.

It is now time critical for members input into future policy to be presented to all SA politicians as time is slipping away. We need politicians to commit to policy PRIOR to an election. Please send all policy ideas and concerns to

COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT)

Rapid antigen tests are now available for use across Australia. Information on how rapid antigen testing can help your business and your rights and responsibilities as a business owner is available at: (

To find the latest COVID-19 government financial assistance and support for your business, click the link:

Finally, let’s pray for tight lines and full tills as this year charges ahead.