Gillnet fishers given more time to apply for share of payments

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2 July 2024

More than $7 million in structural adjustment is still available to fishers, skippers and crew for Stage 2 Future Fishing Taskforce payments, with those eligible now receiving an extra four weeks to apply. 

Stage 2 applications will now close on 31 July 2024 and are open to: 

  • Gulf of Carpentaria commercial fishers impacted by the recently announced gillnet-free areas 

  • Skippers and crew of commercial fishers affected by the phase-out of gillnets in the Great Barrier Reef, changes to the Great Sandy Marine Park (GSMP) zoning plan, and the new Gulf of Carpentaria gillnet-free areas

  • Commercial fishers without N1, N2 or N4 on their licence who want to surrender their licence or symbols 

  • GSMP commercial aquarium fishers 

  • Hammerhead shark commercial fishers on Queensland’s east coast. 

Stage 3 remains open for applications and will close on 30 January 2025 and includes: 

  • Supply chain business diversification grants 

  •  Gillnet buybacks 

  •  Gillnet reel boat refit grants 

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Stage 2 application would assist those affected fishers, skippers and crew by giving them more time to seek advice and apply, particularly as we enter a new financial year. 

"I would emphasise that this will be the last extension for these generous Stage 2 payments, which aim to reduce effort in other fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf of Carpentaria by implementing new gillnet-free areas and offering significant incentives to eligible commercial fishers to surrender their licences and symbols," Minister Furner said. 

“Commercial fishers impacted by the new gillnet-free areas will be paid for their loss of income. 

“I’d also encourage commercial fishers to speak with their skippers and crew and encourage them to apply for support payments before 31 July."

Applications can be made via the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, or by calling 1800 623 946. 

Free and confidential assistance in completing applications is available from the Rural Financial Counselling Service in southern Queensland or northern Queensland

The phase-out of gill nets is a significant part of the joint Queensland and Australian governments’ $185 million joint commitment to further protect the Great Barrier Reef and its world heritage environment and transition to more environmentally sensitive and sustainable fishing practices. 

“We acknowledge the impacts of these changes on the industry and the contribution of commercial fishers who’ve already taken up the opportunity to apply for structural adjustment payments, and we remain committed to a sustainable seafood industry in Queensland," Minister Furner said. 


Last updated: 02 July 2024