once we as an industry stop the engagement process on the issues that are important to us, we lose, it is as simple as that

The Hon Bob Baldwin

AFTA Independant Chair

AFTA Chairs Report June 2022

AFTA AGM & Trade Show

I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the AFTA Show, don’t forget the AGM is on Wednesday August 3rd at 3pm, within the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre. AFTA Members can review the minutes from the last AGM on our Member Resources page.

All Ministers, both at State & Federal levels have been invited to attend the AFTA Trade Show. We need them to be engaged with us so they can truly understand our industry and our passion.

Federal Election

With a change of Government, we have a change of Ministers.

Senator, The Hon Murray Watt has been appointed as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Emergency Management in the newly elected Albanese Government.

AFTA has written and congratulated the Minister and extended an invitation to visit the AFTA Trade Show which is in his own backyard.  For full details click here.


Supporting Australian Industry

Whilst in Melbourne I took the opportunity to visit Australian Manufacturer – Prysm Manufacturing who have been manufacturing the Plano entry level Single, Double & Triple tray tackle boxes in Dandenong, Australia since 1996. Read report here.

WA Demersal Issue

Tim Farnell, Brian Marshall & Ash Ramm heading into meet with Minister Punch

Recently I represented AFTA in Perth on the potential WA Demersal Cutback issue, teaming up with AFTA Members: Tim Farnell, Red Mullet Distributors & West Australian Family Fishing Alliance (WARFFA), Brian Marshall, Compleat Angler Nedlands and Ash Ramm, Tackle World Miami for meetings with Dr Andrew Rowland, RecFishWest, and then meeting with WA Minister for Fisheries, Don Punch. Full details here.

Victorian Election

With the Victorian Election to be held on the 26th of November AFTA is ensuring policy engagement with both the Government & Opposition.

I have been working with Victorian AFTA Member, David Kramer (Tackle World) on policy.  David drove a lot of the current Government policy and the benefits to Recfishers.

AFTA Board members are meeting with Matt Guy and Bill Tilly in Spring Street on the 22nd of June to discuss the Coalition approach to policy development.  To be honest their policy had been sadly lacking in past elections.   AFTA is non-partisan but we will assist in the development of a good recfishing policy for any party.

We have approached the incumbent Minister, Melissa Horne for a meeting and are awaiting a response.

NSW Election

The next NSW election is the 25th of March 2023 and time is running out to put forward a positive agenda submission for recreational fishing.

AFTA has started to approach Minister Dugald Saunders MP & Opposition Shadow Minister Mick Veitch MLC as well as engaging with the cross-bench on issues and opportunities for the recreational fishing sector.  It is essential to begin the process now of seeking strong support for our industry as the election policy books will draw to a close before Christmas.

Whilst the current government have delivered some good policy in the past, they cannot rest on their laurels.

QLD & the Spanish Mackerel Issue

Discussions continue with the Qld Government on the Spanish Mackerel issue.  An interesting read is the QLDDAF Communique 21-22 March 2022 and whilst it states the date for new regulations is the 1st of July, we are advised by the Fisheries Director that there will be another round of consultation before any decision is made.

AFTA Chair Bob Baldwin doing what he loves, fishing for spanish mackerel

They advise that “Spanish mackerel are an iconic fish in Queensland and are a highly valued table and sport fish and that no changes have been made to recreational or commercial fishing rules for Spanish mackerel at this time, and none will be made until a further second round of consultation with fishers has been completed.

The first round of consultation for stakeholders to have their say closed on 5 May 2022. The department is considering stakeholder feedback as part of preparing for the next round of consultation on options. The department has received 1470 submissions in this round of consultation, including 1437 responses to the online survey and 33 written submissions, importantly 78% of the responses were from recreational fishers. “

We keenly await their next move.

Tight Lines and look forward to seeing you at the Trade Show