27 May 2015
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture expressed genuine disappointment over the lack of progress in negotiations between the Small Pelagic Fishery Industry Association (SPFIA) and the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) over the small pelagic fishery.
Senator Colbeck said he recognised the negotiation process was never going to be easy and had discussed with both parties the option of facilitated negotiations if it became too difficult.
"It became obvious to me yesterday that some assistance was required and I wrote to both parties offering that assistance," he said.
"The SPFIA contacted my office immediately and accepted the offer."
"For ARFF to walk away from negotiations after that offer was made and then say they would be approaching Government for a facilitated negotiation is a surprise"
"The Government's offer of an independent senior facilitator for negotiations remains open."