Tasmania salmon farmers may see licence and lease fee hike

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Government department says “it’s been a while since we looked at the fees”.

The Advocate reports that licence and lease fees which are set by the state government could be up for an increase for the industry.

In an inquiry, Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Department secretary Tim Baker told a Legislative Council inquiry into finfish farming that the fees and levies imposed on salmon companies like Tassal and Huon Aquaculture would be reviewed “in the near future”.

From 2019-20, the state government collected more than AUD 3.6 million (EUR 2.1 million) in total fees paid by Tassal, Huon Aquaculture, and Petuna Aquaculture. Atlantic salmon is the highest valued commercial fishery‑related industry in Tasmania, with an annual output valued at around EUR 420 million.

Annual lease and licence fees are paid to the State Government and can be increased or decreased at the Primary Industries Minister’s discretion.

According to the think tank the Australia Institute, currently, three levies apply to salmon farms in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council levy is AUD 442 (EUR 263) per lease. The Salmon Industry Planning Levy is AUD 474 (EUR 283) per hectare and the EPA levy is AUD 322 (EUR 192) per hectare.

Annual lease and licence fees paid to the State Government, of approximately AUD 0.9 million (EUR 0.5 million) for the entire industry.

Baker added: “I think it’s fair to say it’s been a while since we looked at the fees.”

The trade body the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association submitted the following to the inquiry: “In the past five years, our members have collectively spent more than AUD 1 billion purchasing goods and services from Tasmanian businesses.”