On 16 August 2018 the Primary Industries Research and Development Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by both houses of parliament and fully opens the doors for the FRDC to undertake marketing activities for Australia's seafood industry.
The passing of the legislation is a major step forward for not only the FRDC but industry and the opportunity to build partnerships and put in place strategies to better place and promote Australia's seafood.
The FRDC is open to starting discussions with any industry partners looking to undertake [collaborative] marketing activities - it is important to note that the FRDC can only undertake marketing where industry request it and provide funding for the activity. Where industry is interested in marketing the FRDC will work with them to develop plans and processes [approvals/sign offs] to undertake requested activities.
As part of developing the appropriate systems and knowledge, the FRDC has continued to meet with the levies area of DAWR as part of assisting APFA and the Abalone Council of Australia move to implement a marketing levy. These meetings have helped establish a clear picture of the processes, steps and time frames required to put in place a statutory levy, if industry decides to go down this path.
The APFA decided to commence the development of a domestic marketing levy. To oversee the development, they established a sub-committee which assisted in the industry consultation process. The APFA consultation process was completed in early February 2017 and put on hold until July 2018 to focus in addressing issues associated with the outbreak of White Spot Disease.
The APFA has now recommenced the consultation process prior to moving to a vote to put in place a marketing levy. APFA is also partner in the ‘Love Australian Prawns’ national campaign.
The Abalone Council Australia (ACA) has continued discussions with fishers on establishing an abalone marketing levy with a view to funding the continuation and expansion of the Australian Wild Abalone™ program. Development of a business case and marketing plan was completed during the year.
Extensive consultation was undertaken by the ACA to ensure it spoke with as many industry people as possible — this has included attending industry and personal meetings in each abalone producing state. The ACA have engaged the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct an industry ballot.
On 13 December 2013 the Rural Research and Development Legislation Amendment Act 2013 amended the FRDC enabling legislation, the PIRD Act. These amendments extend the scope and range of activities the FRDC can undertake to include marketing for all its stakeholders. The legislative changes now allow the FRDC to link RD&E to marketing, as part of a natural progression to improve outcomes for the industry.
On 16 August 2018 the Primary Industries Research and Development Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by both houses of parliament.
The bill amends the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 and enables FRDC to undertake marketing activities funded by voluntary contributions; remove the requirement that the corporations can undertake marketing only where a marketing levy is attached to the corporation; and enable corporations to undertake incidental activities such as consulting about, or planning, marketing activities.