Communication breakdown in NSW fishing reforms

State-wide commercial fishing industry reforms have left fishers confused about their futures.
State-wide commercial fishing industry reforms have left fishers confused about their futures. Mark Wilton

COMMERCIAL fishers with non-English speaking backgrounds are reportedly struggling to comprehend far-reaching reforms being thrust upon the industry.

Industry leaders have spoken at length about many English-speaking fishers having difficulty grasping how the statewide reform process will work.

But Labor MP Mick Veitch told parliament Department of Primary Industries presentations were not addressing language barriers and failed to provide translation services.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said interpreters were available, but pre-registration had only identified the need for a translator at one of the sessions that teach fishers how to retain or sell their rights to continue working.

"More than 400 commercial fishers signed up for facilitation programs to participate in the preview period," he said.

"At no stage has anyone raised any of the concerns mentioned by the Hon Mick Veitch relating to the inadequacy of the training that is being provided."

Mr Blair acknowledged there was a communication breakdown at one session, but said the government would send back trainers with interpreters wherever needed.

"I understand that at one training session there was an unfortunate misunderstanding between the trainer and participants that resulted in participants being dissatisfied," he said.

"However, if one session needs interpreter services and we have engaged those services, obviously I will endeavour to make sure that those services are available at the other sessions.

"I would hate the implementation to fall down because of something so simple as ensuring that interpreter services are available."


Topics:  commercial fishing, dpi, fishing, fishing industry, mick veitch, niall blair, reform

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