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This paper was prepared by Matthew Dadswell, Aquaculture Action Agenda Taskforce, Commonwealth Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia (AFFA) on behalf of the National Aquaculture Development Committee.
The Aquaculture Action Agenda Taskforce gratefully acknowledges contributions from: Brian Jeffriess, Simon Bennison, Russ
Neal, Sally Tonkin, John Jenkin, Peter Shelley, Bruce Zippel, Paul Trevethan and Martin Breen of the National Aquaculture
Development Committee; Dos O’Sullivan, DosAqua Pty Ltd; Greg Paust, Anthony Forster, Damian Ogburn, Roger Hall, Ian
Nightingale, Jim Gillespie, Colin Shelley and Peter Rothlisberg of the Aquaculture Committee of the Standing Committee on
Fisheries and Aquaculture; and Peter Gooday, Debbie Brown, Emily Stutterd, Glenn Hurry, Simon Wilkinson, Mike Drynan and
Paula Shoulder of AFFA.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2001
ISBN 0-642-48732-4
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1986, no part may be reproduced by any
process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available through the General Manager, Fisheries and
Aquaculture, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT, 2601, telephone: 02 6272 5777.
The purpose of this discussion paper is to stimulate discussion on a range of issues during the development of the
Aquaculture Action Agenda. Accordingly, the views and opinions expressed in this discussion paper do not necessarily reflect
those of the National Aquaculture Development Committee or Commonwealth Government, Ministers or their Departments.
Comments on any aspect of this paper are welcome and can be sent to:
Aquaculture Action Agenda Taskforce
Fisheries and Aquaculture 
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia
GPO Box 858
Phone: 02 6272 5918
Fax: 02 6272 4875
This paper and other information can be accessed from the Aquaculture Action Agenda website at:
Printed copies of the Discussion Paper may be requested by contacting the Aquaculture Action Agenda Taskforce at the 
above addresses.

4.4.6 Aquatic animal health
4.4.7 Quarantine
4.5.1 Objective
4.5.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
4.5.3 Funding
4.5.4 Focus
4.5.5 Technology transfer
4.5.6 Intellectual property
4.6.1 Objective
4.6.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
4.6.3 Focus
4.6.4 Workplace relations
National Aquaculture Development Committee
National Aquaculture Council
Commonwealth Government Programs 
Relevant to the Australian Aquaculture Industry
FIG. B: 
FIG. C: 
FIG. E: 
BOX 1: 
BOX 2: 
BOX 3: 

1.3 Definition
Aquaculture is defined as "The farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and
aquatic plants, with some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as
regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate
ownership of the stock being cultivated (FAO 1989)."
The aquaculture industry in Australia encompasses producers, processors, marketers and support
services, such as equipment manufacturers, suppliers and feed manufacturers.
Its production involves the breeding, hatching, rearing and processing for sale of aquatic organisms
including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

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In the last ten years a number of aquaculture producers have been vertically integrating processing,
marketing, retailing and transport into their businesses to add more value to the farmed product and to
increase efficiencies in the supply chain from producer to consumer. For example, the estimated gross
value of salmon production in 1999/00 was $84.9 million (ABARE 2001), however, the total reported
sales (includes value adding, marketing, freight) by salmon farming companies in the same year was
about $136 million (Deloitte 2000). A similar situation exists for tuna farming in South Australia.
Estimated gross value of production in 1998/99 was $167 million (ABARE 2001) however in the same year
the total reported sales were closer to $265 million (EconSearch 1998). 
For industries with less value-adding and transport costs the difference is much less. For example,
estimated gross value of shellfish production in Tasmania in 1999/00 was $15.0 million (ABARE 2001),
however, the actual sales, allowing for errors in the estimates, were virtually the same at $14.3 million
(Deloitte 2000). 
There are a number of estimates of employment in the Australian aquaculture industry. The Cooperative
Research Centre for Aquaculture (CRC 1999), estimated that over 7,000 people were directly employed
(casually and full time) in aquaculture in 1997/98 (Table A).
On the other hand, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimated that 4,200 people were directly
employed in the industry in 1997/98 (ABS 1999). The ABS number underestimates employment in
aquaculture as it excludes owner-operator enterprises not employing labour, and respondents who do
not identify aquaculture as their primary business.
Table A: Aquaculture employment in Australia by State and Northern Territory     1997/98a
employment b
Total direct
And indirect
a. Employment includes both full time and casual. 
b. Indirect employment is based on an assumed multiplier factor of three, or as provided by State aquaculture agencies.
Sources: Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001, CRC for Aquaculture 1999.
A study by EconSearch Pty Ltd on the economic impacts of aquaculture in South Australia and the Eyre
Peninsula region (EconSearch 1998) found that in 1998/99, for every job directly generated by the
aquaculture industry, another 2.2 jobs were created in the rest of the State. For every dollar of sales
generated, another $1.86 was earned by related businesses throughout the State. The majority of these
benefits occurred in the Eyre Peninsula region (EconSearch 1998).
A survey completed recently of the Tasmanian aquaculture industry by Deloitte Touche Tomatsu for the
Tasmanian Aquaculture Council reported that actual industry sales in 1999/00 were around $151
million, with projected sales to increase by 85 per cent to $280 million by June 2003. In 1999/00 the
industry paid wages of $32.3 million, with these forecast to rise to $40.8 million by June 2003. In
1999/00 the industry also paid a total of $2.5 million in charges and taxes to the Tasmanian
Government (Deloitte 2000).

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The Asian region dominates both wild catch and aquaculture production, accounting for over 90 per
cent of the world aquaculture production in 1998 (Table B). Much of this is due to the significant
increase in production by China over the last 15 years. In 1998 China accounted for 60 per cent of total
world aquaculture production (Brown and Connell 2001).
Aquaculture is well established as a mainstream source of meat protein in Asia. In regions such as North
America, Europe and Australia the major sources of meat protein are beef, pork, chicken and lamb.
Aquaculture production in North America, Europe and Australia is mainly focussed on a limited range of
species, mainly catfish, salmon and tuna respectively, for specific markets (Brown and Connell 2001).
Table B:  Global aquaculture production by continent a
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
‘000 t
Asia (mostly China) 15 955
18 881
22 173
25 206
28 563
30 955
32 732
35 814
1 445
1 379
1 505
1 608
1 690
1 766
1 960
South America
North America
18 287
21 253
24 547
27 754
31 340
33 992
36 031
39 431
a Includes aquatic plants.
Source: FAO 2000.
Australia is a minor contributor to total global aquaculture production. In 1999, it contributed only 0.09
per cent of total global volume and 0.6 per cent of total global value. 
Fig. E: Average annual growth in aquaculture production (by volume): 1991 - 1998
ual g
Average ann
Source: FAO 2000.
Australia is a relative latecomer to aquaculture, compared to other countries in Asia, North America and
Europe. Because of its late development, aquaculture production by volume in Australia over the last
decade has been growing at a faster rate than Europe and North America and at a comparable rate to
Asia (Fig. E). The rapid growth in South America is also due to a previously low production base and is
driven by the availability of sites and significant foreign investment in Atlantic salmon farming.
Aquaculture development in Australia is likely to follow the same path as the industry has in Europe
and North America. In Europe and North America there has been a consolidation of growers and feed
manufacturers in the larger sectors. For major aquaculture species such as Atlantic salmon, some of the
major feed and fish farming companies have merged or taken over operations to compete more

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effectively and increase production. There are early indications that this may also happen in Australia.
Similar to Europe and North America, there is likely to remain a considerable number of hobby and
small-scale commercial farms producing selected species for specific domestic and overseas markets.
2.5 Domestic market overview
The Australian aquaculture industry is based around production of high value and high quality product
for local and overseas niche markets. 
With the exception of pearls and ornamental species, Australian aquaculture producers are in the food
business. The food business is one of the world’s most global and competitive industries. In the
domestic marketplace the major competitors for aquaculture products include imported seafood; wild-
capture seafood; and other meat products, such as beef and poultry.
In 1998/99, per capita consumption of seafood in Australia was 10.9 kg. Since 1993/94, total seafood consumption
has increased by 6.1 per cent. This increase is due mainly to the increasing consumption of seafood outside the
home. Consumption of beef and lamb has declined steadily over the same period (ABS 2000).
About 40 per cent of total aquaculture production is sold domestically to supermarkets, fishmongers
and restaurants. This includes products such as oysters, prawns, salmon, barramundi, silver perch and
various species of freshwater crayfish. The majority of aquaculture product sold on the domestic market
is sold by individual growers or by regional cooperatives.
2.6 International market overview
The Australian fisheries industry generated $1.99 billion in exports during 1999/2000. Rock lobster;
pearls; prawns; abalone and tuna comprised 86 per cent of exports (ABARE 2001). 
Records of Australian fisheries exports are not differentiated on the basis of whether the product comes
from aquaculture or wild fisheries. Table C provides an estimate (probable underestimate) of the level of
aquaculture exports over the last couple of years. Pearls and southern bluefin tuna dominate Australian
aquaculture exports. Together these two sectors comprise about 60 per cent of the value of Australian
aquaculture production and the majority of exports by value and volume. Aquaculture exports are
primarily sold to overseas-based wholesalers or trading houses.
Table C: Estimated Aquaculture Exports a
7 847
9 179
6 365
166 700
7 803
202 295
8 000
9 600
2 884
182 647
190 510
7 380
366 707
9 050
414 468
a Estimates of exports based on gross value of production.
ABARE 2001, Ross Lobegeiger, Queensland Fisheries personal communication March 2001, O’Sullivan and Dobson 2000.
Asia is Australia’s major market for seafood and aquaculture exports. In 1999/00, it accounted for about
70 per cent of total exports. The United States accounted for about eight per cent and the majority of
remaining exports went to Europe (ABARE 2001).

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Japan is the major customer for Australian seafood and aquaculture products. In 1999/00, Japan
imported, by value, 35 per cent of Australian seafood and aquaculture products. Hong Kong and Chinese
Taipei are the next biggest markets. Economic growth in key Asian markets for Australian seafood, plus
the continued low value of the Australian dollar against the US and Japanese currencies has meant that
Australian seafood exports have remained competitively priced over the last couple of years (ABARE
White pearls are produced in Australia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and China, with Myanmar and
some South Pacific Islands increasing production. Black pearls are mainly produced in Tahiti and the
Cook Islands. Europe, North America, Japan and Hong Kong are the major export destinations for
Australian pearls. Demand for Australian pearls is high because of their superior quality and limited
availability. Future increases in production will be driven by consumer demand. 
In international markets the major competitors to Australian aquaculture exports are European, North
and South American and New Zealand producers of high value products such as salmon, trout, oysters
and mussels. 

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In general, the prospects for the future growth of the aquaculture industry are good. This is based on
the established record of sustained growth in the industry over the last ten years, as well as anticipated
investment in research and commercial farms over the next two to three years. To achieve $2.5 billion 
in annual sales by 2010 the current industry growth rate of 13 per cent per annum will need to 
be maintained. 
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) predicts that from 2001 any further
increases in global consumption of seafood is expected to be met by aquaculture. The FAO has also
predicted that this trend will continue to the point that by 2030, aquaculture will dominate fish 
supplies and less than half of the fish consumed will come from capture fisheries (FAO 1999, 2000).
Demand for pearls should also increase with increasing consumer affluence in current markets and
additional promotion.
Australian aquaculture producers have a number of competitive advantages that put them in the prime
position to capitalise on future demand. These advantages include:
• Australia’s reputation for producing high quality and safe, seafood and other fisheries products in a
"clean and green" environment; 
• close proximity to major markets in Asia;
• Australia is relatively free of major aquatic diseases;
• the excellent eating qualities of Australian native species; and
• counter-seasonal production compared to Northern Hemisphere aquaculture producers and wild-
capture fisheries.
The Australian aquaculture industry must exploit its competitive advantages if it is to grow. It can do
this by increasing access to physical; financial; and human resources and making better use of these
resources through improved ecologically sustainable practices; education; training; marketing; research;
and management. 
The key impediments and opportunities for industry growth have been identified by the NADC and are
discussed in Chapter four under the following headings:
• Communications and Promotion
• Resource Access and Sustainability
• Investment Environment
• Regulatory Framework
• Research and Development
• Education and Training

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species farmed in each State/Territory. This model would appear to be an efficient method for
facilitating industry-government interactions and could be applied at national and regional levels. 
Linkages should also be developed between the aquaculture industry and local communities, non-
government organisations and indigenous groups on specific issues, such as site access, planning,
sustainability and regional development. Such linkages can provide a valuable mechanism for sharing
information and views on aquaculture development and provide the opportunity to promote the
benefits of the aquaculture industry to the community.
The State/Territory Governments have played a significant role over time in providing extension advisory
services to the aquaculture industry and are well placed to undertake this task. Equally well placed are
the various aquaculture industry associations and councils. Some States/Territories have been steadily
downgrading or removing their extension services because of reductions in funding; where costs cannot
be recovered from industry; or because email and the internet provide a more efficient means of
providing advice and information. In the absence of government extension officers, various aquaculture
associations and councils should take the lead. 
Is industry representation important at a national level?  How can it be made most effective? What
structure is most appropriate?
What needs to be done to strengthen the role of the National Aquaculture Council and ensure it is
adequately resourced?
What support do industry associations and councils need to provide better extensions services to their
How can better linkages be developed between aquaculture the wild-fisheries sector, related industries,
governments, local and indigenous communities?
4.1.4 Promotion
A key driver of aquaculture growth in the future will be the public’s attitudes to aquaculture. Ultimately,
it is the public’s attitude to issues which drives political attitudes that are in turn reflected in policies
and regulations.
Many of the impediments and opportunities to growth identified in this discussion paper, such as
gaining access to suitable sites, demonstrating environment sustainability, increasing seafood
consumption and attracting investment, are influenced by the perceptions of others about the
aquaculture industry. 
In the case of the consumer there may be a perception that aquaculture products don’t taste the same
as those from the sea; for the investor it may be that aquaculture is a risky investment; for the holiday
house owner it may be that aquaculture has a negative effect on the environment. Changing these
perceptions will improve the growth of the aquaculture industry. 
In the case of the consumer the key message might be that fish from aquaculture tastes just as good; for
the investor it may be about providing information to demonstrate that aquaculture it is no more risky
than any other business if a sound business plan is in place; for the holiday house owner it may be
about the positive economic contribution the industry makes to the local community, as well as
highlighting that aquaculture can be a responsible and sustainable user of resources.
It is up to industry and governments to spread good news stories and facts. It is also up to industry to
develop high-profile advocates in industry, the local community, politics and the media to promote the

S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
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Australia’s environmental laws are some of the tightest in the world. The Australian aquaculture
industry has an opportunity to promote its environmental credentials in Australia and overseas by
complying with these laws as well as implementing world class best management practices.
In summary, there is an urgent need for development of an aquaculture communication and promotion
strategy to promote the benefits of aquaculture, increase sales and to develop communication linkages
within the industry, with government and with communities.
What messages should the aquaculture industry be promoting and who should they be aimed at?
What role does the aquaculture industry and government have in promoting the industry? How can the
industry best use its advocates?
What will it take to develop aquaculture communication and promotion strategies at a
national/State/Territory/regional level?
4.2 Resource Access and Sustainability
4.2.1 Objective
To improve access to resources and continual improvement of ecologically sustainable aquaculture
4.2.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
• Lack of available and suitable sites for aquaculture.
• Delays in gaining access to resources.
• Lack of security of tenure.
• Minimising any adverse impacts of aquaculture on the environment and other resource users.
4.2.3 Resource access
Growth of the Australian aquaculture industry depends on the availability and quality of natural
resources, such as land, water and broodstock. As these resources are not limitless and are often sought
for other uses such as coastal urban development, tourism and recreation, there is a need to for
mechanisms to allocate these resources efficiently between users, as well as to seek out and develop
new resources. 
About 95 per cent of Australia’s aquaculture production and businesses are situated in marine coastal
areas and estuaries along the Australian coastline. From the last population census in 1996, 15.3 million
people (83 per cent of Australia's population) lived within 50 km of the coastline. Water resources in the
coastal zone are publicly owned and managed by State/Territory Governments. 
Given the concentration of aquaculture and the Australian population along the coast it is
understandable that the aquaculture industry is finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to, and
long-term leases over, public resources in this area. At various times, the industry has experienced some
negativity from coastal communities over their perceived loss of aesthetic and recreational values, as
well as concerns expressed over the possible negative impact of aquaculture on the environment. 
Well managed and consistent State/Territory and local government zoning and planning regulations and
consultation processes are vital to ensure an equitable and efficient allocation of resources for all users
and to ensure sustainable use of resources.

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Planning regimes in Australian States/Territories are either aquaculture-specific or based broadly around
coastal regions and are generally the joint responsibility of State/Territory and Local Governments (Table
E). Most of these planning systems are reviewed every five to ten years to take into account changes in
user values (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001).
Table E: Status of marine aquaculture planning regimes
Time horizon
New South Wales
Case by case
Aquaculture only,
Entire coast
For the life of the
assessment by inter-
emphasis on
aquaculture lease
agency focus groups
including planning
impact - non-
Coastal Action
Overall coastal
Selected regions
Reviewed within
five years of
endorsement of
the plan 
Local Government
Zoning of land 
Entire coast
Must be reviewed
Planning  Scheme
use including
at least every six
Western Australia
Aquaculture only
Some regions
Selected regions
Some 5 year review
(excl. white pearls)
period, some 
some draft
none specified
Case by case
White pearls only
Exmouth Gulf to
No review period
assessment and
NT border
South Australia
Aquaculture only
Selected regions
Should be reviewed
Management Plans
under review
every five years as
part of monitoring
water resources 
Marine Farming
Part of an integral
Selected regions
Reviewed at least
coastal management
every ten years
under review
Northern Territory
Control Plans
Zoning of land use
Selected regions
Review should be
activities including
undertaken every
five years
Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001, Tina Thorne, WA Fisheries personal communication April 2001.
One of the impediments to industry growth is the lack of certainty and delays in gaining access to
resources. An aquaculturalist wishing to gain access to a site can expend significant investment in time
and money in identifying the site and then seeking access without any guarantees that access will be
granted. If, in the first instance, sites could firstly be identified as being suitable from a resource aspect
for aquaculture and subsequently zoned for that use, the time and cost to the aquaculturalist can 
be reduced. 
While each State and the Northern Territory has some form of zoning or planning system, none of them
has yet been through the process of formally mapping the entire coast and allocating specific zones to
aquaculture (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001).
The regulatory authorities may not always be responsible for delays in assessment and approval 
of applications. Sometimes delays are the result of poorly prepared applications by an applicant. 
In this instance, applicants would benefit from improved access to information and assistance on
licensing requirements.
The success of various mechanisms for managing resource conflict in aquaculture is difficult to
determine. Few studies have been done that have assessed the effectiveness of management strategies. 

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A study by ABARE (Holland and Brown 1999) of aquaculture policy and planning experiences overseas
found that, in the longer term, the current dominant effect of regulations, such as zoning systems, is
unlikely to continue to reflect the preferences of resource users and community expectations. To avoid
imposing greater costs on the community, it was suggested that economic instruments like those used to
manage access to wild-fish stocks such as bidding or charging systems for licences and for water use or
waste emissions releases could be applied to aquaculture, to more accurately reflect the true costs of
using the resource. While such as system would increase the costs to resource users, it would also
improve the efficiency of site allocation, which would benefit those seeking access to the resource.
A lack of security over tenure is another potential impediment to industry growth in some States/
Territories of Australia. Some States/Territories do not grant exclusive possession of a lease to the
leaseholder. The term of leases between States/Territories can range anywhere from four years to in
perpetuity, although most are about 15 to 21 years in duration. Consideration should be given to
providing leases for longer and granting exclusive possession to the leaseholder. Regular monitoring 
and reporting conditions built into aquaculture licences ensures responsible management of the lease. 
Promotion of aquaculture, as a responsible user of resources and valuable contributor to local
communities, would go some way in strengthening industry claims for greater resource access and
security of tenure. Consistent with this, industry should tidy up sites when a licence or lease expires,
and be careful to ensure safe disposal of rubbish and processing wastes on farms. Promoting
aquaculture is discussed further in section 4.1 Communication and Promotion. 
How can resource management and planning legislation and policies be strengthened to ensure
aquaculture interests are taken account of and security of tenure improved?
Are economic instruments a better mechanism for allocating public resources? Are there others? Aquaculture in other areas of Australia
One possible response to reduced resource availability and lengthy approval processes in high-demand
coastal areas is to undertake aquaculture in coastal areas with fewer users, in off-shore areas or inland.
Greatest demand for coastal resources occurs along the eastern seaboard and around capital cities.
There are less used areas of coastal waters, particularly in southern, western and northern Australia that
could be used potentially for aquaculture, although the number of protected sites available are limited.
Research to determine suitable sites; species; production techniques; transport to key markets; and
provision of infrastructure (e.g. three-phase power and roads) will need to be addressed if aquaculture
is to expand into coastal areas with fewer users. 
Australia has vast oceans for which there are a large number of sites available for cage mariculture. However, off-
shore aquaculture requires advanced technologies that must be imported and adapted for Australian conditions
and species, or developed in Australia. Off-shore cage culture will only be suitable for some fish species. 
There are opportunities for aquaculture in inland fresh and saline waters, either as stand-alone operations
or through multiple and sequential water use within an integrated agri-aquaculture system. Integrated
agri-aquaculture systems can provide positive benefits for existing farmers by providing an additional
source of farm income, as well as assisting regional development. More efficient use of scarce water
resources is of both economic and environmental benefit. As most land is privately owned, there is a
reduced likelihood of conflict over resource use. The flexibility to trial species in various locations, without
taking out a full aquaculture licence, could assist in the expansion of aquaculture into remote areas.
Agri-aquaculture is well developed in some countries such as Israel and China. There is an opportunity
to develop linkages with these countries and to adapt foreign experiences and technologies to the
Australian environment and species. Research and development plans have been completed recently for
agri-aquaculture and saline aquaculture and now need to be implemented. 

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Research and development alone will not be sufficient to drive investment in inland aquaculture.
Market opportunities for species that are suitable for inland farming must firstly be identified before
significant investment will happen. There is a wide range of aquaculture species that have been farmed
in inland areas for a number of years yet none have seen the same growth that some of the marine
aquaculture sectors have experienced for the same period. Most of the inland freshwater species are
endemic to a given region or States/Territories and, with the exception of barramundi, have had little
market exposure or promotion domestically or overseas.
Indigenous people are the traditional owners of significant areas of coastal and inland areas some of
which are suitable for aquaculture. Many Australian indigenous communities have expressed a strong
interest in aquaculture. The industry is culturally in harmony with the lifestyles of indigenous people
and well suited for development in isolated coastal and inland areas where many indigenous
communities are located. 
Development of new or improved production systems such as intensive recirculation makes possible the
culture of some species wherever there is sufficient and reliable access to good quality water. However,
recirculation systems are capital intensive, especially in the critical start-up phase. Additionally, only
some species are suited to farming in recirculation systems.
Recently, the concept of "clustering" has been promoted as one way of developing a critical mass in a
region to support industry and regional development. Through clustering, interested parties such as
government and industry agree to congregate services and business in a region and, through their
collective contributions, build a critical mass and collective knowledge that all participants can leverage
off. In its simplest form, clustering is about nurturing collaborative instincts and trust (Brown 2001). 
Port Lincoln in South Australia is an excellent example of how clustering, or collaboration between
researchers, government, educators and industry, can assist each of the participants to collectively grow
their business. Development of aquaculture-based clusters in other areas of Australia may offer one
solution to developing the critical mass needed to increase access to sites; improve the collective
knowledge about industry and regional development techniques; improve infrastructure and services;
and development of regional marketing initiatives. 
What can industry and governments do to encourage more aquaculture in inland, off-shore and remote
coastal regions of Australia?
4.2.4 Environmental sustainability
While aquaculture depends on the quality of resources and on the health of aquatic stock, it can also
affect the surrounding environment. There is therefore a need for industry and government policies to
ensure the environmental sustainability of aquaculture (Holland and Brown 1999). 
Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) is the cornerstone of all natural resource management in
Australia. The National Strategy for ESD defines ESD as "using, conserving and enhancing the
community's resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the
total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased" (Commonwealth of Australia 1992). It
requires changes in the nature of production and consumption so that we can better satisfy human
needs while using fewer raw materials and producing less waste. 
How ESD is measured and implemented changes over time with changes in knowledge and how the
community views the use of its resources. 
The Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have in place laws to ensure ESD. Through the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Wildlife Protection
(Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 
(WP(REI) Act) the Commonwealth Government promotes ESD
and protects the environment, particularly those matters of national environmental significance. The

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One impediment to growth identified by industry is the administrative burden that both State/Territory
and Commonwealth environmental legislation may impose on existing and new aquaculture
developments. Excessive or drawn-out administrative processes increase the time taken to assess and
approve new aquaculture developments, which in turn can discourage investors who see the regulatory
process as taking too long. This issue is discussed further in section 4.4 Regulatory Framework.
There is a mistaken perception in some parts of the community that aquaculture is ecologically
unsustainable and a major polluter of marine and estuarine areas. These concerns originate largely
from prawn farming in Asia where large-scale intensive and unregulated development caused significant
environmental damage. Unfortunately, public perception of prawn farming and aquaculture in general
has been tarred with the same brush. 
Improving the community’s perception of the aquaculture industry’s environmental performance is an
ongoing challenge for industry and governments. This challenge should be addressed at least at the
grower and association level and, ideally, at a national level, as part of a broader communication and
promotion strategy. This issue is discussed further in section 4.1 Communication and Promotion.
Are the benefits of ecological sustainable management well understood by industry and other
stakeholders? What can be done to promote the benefits?
How can a culture of continual improvement in ESD be fostered in the aquaculture industry? 
How can governments and industry work better together to achieve compliance with environmental
legislation and to ensure ecologically sustainable development?
How can the development and implementation of best management practices for aquaculture be
4.3 Investment Environment
4.3.1 Objective
To increase productive investment in Australian aquaculture and expand market access.
4.3.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
• Encouraging investment in aquaculture.
• Improving the tax treatment of aquaculture businesses.
• Improving marketing capabilities.
• Identifying key markets in Australia and overseas.
• Removing barriers to international trade in fisheries products.
• Exploiting the aquaculture industry’s competitive advantages.
4.3.3 Investment
Commercial success in aquaculture depends on making a positive return on investment and being
competitive. Like any other new business venture, aquaculture requires detailed research and business
planning before investment decisions should be made. 
New investors often see aquaculture as an appealing lifestyle choice, as well as an easy way to make
money. Farming of most aquatic species is difficult and requires an intimate knowledge of their
biological requirements. Many new investors enter the aquaculture industry with the intention of

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producing one particular type of species and forget to even consider if there is a market for what they
want to produce.
In a recent study on the profitability of selected aquaculture species, ABARE identified that site
characteristics, distance to markets, staff and management expertise are the major factors that can
affect the profitability of an aquaculture business (Weston, Hardcastle and Davies 2001). Type of species
farmed, scale of operation, feed costs and market demand are other factors determining profitability.
The aquaculture industry is sometimes perceived to be ‘high risk’ by corporate investors, financial
institutions and insurance agencies. This perception may be based on a number of factors including the
failure of a few high profile but poorly managed aquaculture schemes in the past; lack of long-term
tenure over aquaculture sites (refer section 4.2 Resource Access and Sustainability); and high levels of
regulation. A detailed research and business plan is required to properly evaluate any risks.
Larger and more established aquaculture businesses are more skilled at attracting investment. Growth of
smaller-scale aquaculture businesses is most often constrained by their inability to attract capital. This
is due largely to a lack of financial skills and lack of knowledge on where to look for funding.
In the majority of cases new aquaculture ventures are more suited to venture capital funding than debt
funding from banks, especially where there is no external cash flow. Banks are more risk averse in their
lending practices because they are lending other people’s money and not their own (Hird 2000).
Before committing funds, external investors or lenders need to know the previous financial record of the
owner/manager; how much funding is being contributed by the owner/manager; the level of security
being offered in case the business fails; the cash flow schedule; the business plan; insurance cover;
marketability of the product being produced; and the level of experience and skills of the
owner/manager (Hird 2000).
Improvements to resource access and security of tenure (refer section 4.2 Resource Access and
), improved availability of technical and market information and promotion of successful
aquaculture developments (refer section 4.1 Communication and Promotion) would encourage more
investment in aquaculture. More broadly, the general economic environment will also effect the level 
of investment.
A number of State Governments have developed species-based production and economic models 
to assist potential investors better understand the range of factors contributing to the profitability 
of aquaculture.
How can the aquaculture industry and governments attract investment in aquaculture and make that
investment more effective?
What can industry and governments do to improve the availability and quality of technical and market
information to aquaculture farmers and new investors?
What can industry and governments do to effectively promote positive examples of aquaculture
investment and development?
4.3.4 Taxation
Taxation can influence the profitability of, and level of investment in, aquaculture.
The taxation laws as applied to aquaculture are interpreted with either the wild –catch fisheries sector
or traditional land based primary industries in mind. This opens up the possibility for taxation laws to
disadvantage the industry in some circumstances.
Industry dissatisfaction with taxation laws such as research and development concessions, stock
valuation, sales tax and eligible activities under the off-road Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme, have been

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identified previously. There is currently a lack of information concerning taxation issues and their
impact on aquaculture industries. 
Does the aquaculture industry have a good understanding of how current taxation laws apply 
to aquaculture?
Do some tax laws need to be improved to assist aquaculture development? If so, which ones?
4.3.5 Marketing
The Australian aquaculture industry is production, rather than market driven. 
Most aquaculture businesses are operated by one or two people, who are the grower, scientist, lawyer,
accountant, engineer and marketing agent all in one. The initial emphasis is on producing the product
in the first place and the marketing aspects are often the last to be considered. 
With insufficient time to consider marketing issues, most small-scale farmers are at a disadvantage in
negotiations with middlemen and retailers on pricing; fail to fully understand what the market wants in
terms of product size, colour, texture and taste; fail to adequately identify and develop efficient supply
chains to market; and fail to fully promote their products.
There are a number of ways in which these shortcomings may be addressed. Marketing, food handling
and management skills of farmers can be improved, through provision and access to education and
training (refer section 4.6 Education and Training). 
Farmers could also pool their resources by joining or forming cooperative or grower associations.
Cooperatives or associations have the capacity to pool and disseminate marketing and pricing
information; organise and conduct training; and undertake generic promotion, labelling and sales (refer
section 4.1 Communication and Promotion).
More information for farmers could also be provided through research aimed at identifying consumer
needs, supply chains, food handling and packaging technologies.
A survey of seafood consumption in Sydney in 1999 found that three quarters of interviewees were not
concerned whether the fish was wild-caught or farmed (Ruello 1999). This finding would suggest that the
wild capture and aquaculture industries should cooperate in their efforts to increase seafood
consumption in major markets.
Some of these opportunities could be implemented through a national generic marketing campaign.
This idea has been proposed before. Major impediments in the past have been a lack of agreement and
organisation between aquaculture and wild-capture seafood sectors and lack of willingness by industry
to fund such an initiative because some industry members - who are unwilling to provide funding - will
also benefit. 
For any national marketing effort to be effective, collaboration with the wild-capture seafood industry is
necessary and all or nearly all beneficiaries must contribute to funding. In the absence of a generic
marketing campaign, market development and promotion is best undertaken at a cooperative level, on
a regional and/or species basis. Domestic markets
In 1998/99, annual per capita consumption of seafood in Australia was 10.9 kg per head, or about ten
per cent of total unprocessed meat intake (ABS 2000). If seafood consumption in Australia could be
increased then the demand for Australian seafood and aquaculture would also increase. Unfortunately,
this is not as simple as it sounds.

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Despite increased consumption in 1998/99, the consumption of Australian fish fell by 7 per cent to 
3.6 kg per capita, while consumption of imported fish rose by 7.8 per cent to 4.5 kg (ABS 2000). In
1999/00, Australia seafood imports were worth $780 million. Australia’s largest seafood imports were
low value ($2 - $5 per kg), ready to eat products in the form of frozen fish fillets, canned fish and
prawns (Brown and Connell 2001). The majority of these products are sold through supermarkets and
fast food outlets. 
For domestic aquaculture production to replace imports, the costs of production of seafood such as
barramundi, murray cod, silver perch, snapper and prawns will need to decrease by around 50 per cent.
Given current technologies and price structures, the Australian aquaculture or wild-catch seafood
industries are unlikely to be able to replace the large volumes of low priced seafood that Australia
imports currently for sometime yet (Brown and Connell 2001). In the domestic market the main
opportunities for aquaculture exist in expanding demand for premium quality, live and fresh seafood. 
There have been a number of studies undertaken on seafood consumption and demand in Australia. In
the most recent survey of seafood consumption in Sydney in 1999 price; lack of consumer information;
and food safety (refer section 4.4 Regulatory Framework) were identified as the main impediments to
increased domestic consumption (Ruello 1999). 
Domestically, the aquaculture industry should seek to take advantage of their unique capacity to
produce live and fresh product on demand, and of consistent size, colour, texture and taste.
Seafood Services Australia (SSA) is a program established and funded by the FRDC that provides
assistance and information to the seafood industry on developing new products and processes, food
safety and quality systems and post-harvest technical issues (see Appendix 3).
There are opportunities for small to medium producers to increase sales of high value live and fresh fish
in Australia. However, a small population (i.e. market), low per capita consumption and cheap imports
mean that producers will need to look to the bigger markets overseas if they are seeking significant
sales growth.
What can be done to stimulate domestic demand for seafood in Australia?
How can aquaculture producers increase market access to domestic meat and seafood markets? International markets
Australian aquaculture producers face an unreliable world market characterised by distortions and
subsidies. They face increasingly strong competition from producers in the Asia–Pacific, North America,
Europe and, more recently, South America. 
Worldwide, more sophisticated markets for agricultural produce are developing, with the growing
importance of brand marketing.  Increasingly, competition in food markets is developing as chain versus
chain.  Producers are forming networks and partnerships to share information, and pooling skills and
resources. Such strategic alliances help to shore up markets and develop a critical mass in the
production and supply chain. It is vital that Australian producers capture the competitive advantage by
cooperating both horizontally and vertically in supply chains and working with governments to facilitate
trade (DPIE 1998). ‘Supermarket to Asia’ is one Commonwealth Government program that provides
information and funding assistance to producers, to develop supply chains and to access overseas
markets (refer Appendix 3).
Australian aquaculture producers have little impact on supply and prices in global markets and are
mainly price takers. However, Australian aquaculture producers do have a number of competitive
advantages over their international counterparts that put them in a prime position to access and hold
niche markets and demand premium prices.

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For example, Australia is relatively free of many of the infectious diseases that limit or prevent
aquaculture in other countries. Australia has in place quarantine procedures to maintain this disease
free status. Recent changes to import restrictions for some aquaculture products, have increased
industry concerns of disease outbreaks in Australia (refer section 4.4 Regulatory Framework).
A history of regular environmental monitoring by industry and government largely ensures that
aquaculture production in Australia is carried out in an ecologically sustainable manner and in a clean
environment. Australian produce, in general, has a reputation overseas of coming from a ‘clean and
green’ environment and being of a high quality and safe to eat. The opportunity is there for Australian
aquaculture producers to exploit this perception. To do this, producers should continue to improve
ecological sustainability; comply with environmental regulations; and ensure that they have
implemented comprehensive food safety plans.
Many Australian native species such as Murray cod have excellent eating qualities that make them
attractive to overseas consumers. As the first to domesticate and exploit these species, Australian
producers have a natural advantage over their competitors, although more promotion is needed in new
markets to raise product awareness.
The capacity to produce product out-of-season with northern hemisphere producers and wild-fisheries
offers Australian aquaculture producers another opportunity to gain a foothold in niche markets. 
One of the major issues faced by Australian aquaculture producers in accessing and maintaining
overseas markets is an inability to produce sufficient and consistent amounts of product. As the
Australian aquaculture industry is still relatively young there are a large number of small to medium
businesses looking to export, but lacking the scale of production to do so. Formation of joint marketing
ventures and cooperatives are two options for improving export capacity.  
Consumption of fisheries products in developing countries in Asia increased by around 8.5 per cent a
year over the period 1991/93 to 1995/97. Consumption has increased rapidly in China (94 per cent),
Malaysia (89 per cent) and Thailand (27 per cent). The increased consumption is due to an increasing
ability to afford seafood and a one per cent annual increase in population (Brown and Connell 2001). 
In developed countries such as Europe, United States, Japan and Hong Kong, demand for fisheries
products has shown reasonable growth during the 1990s. This demand has been driven by a number of
key trends, including increasing affluence, an increase in eating outside the home, a trend toward
eating healthier foods, greater diversity in food intake and improvements in the availability of seafood
(Brown and Connell 2001).
It would appear that Australian aquaculture producers should continue to focus their efforts on creating
and accessing niche markets in developed countries for high value and quality seafood. In the longer
term, increased economic development in developing countries, such as China, may result in emerging
opportunities to develop niche markets for high quality and value products.
If the aquaculture industry is to be competitive it must exploit its competitive advantages; constantly
adapt to changing preferences and expectations of consumers; and adapt to changing market
conditions. To do this, the industry needs to focus on meeting market demands (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle
and Stubbs 2001) and develop marketing and export strategies at grower, regional and national levels.
How can the aquaculture industry better exploit its competitive advantages?
What assistance does industry need to develop strategic alliances to access markets and develop critical
mass in the production and supply chain?
How can industry get better access to market intelligence to identify and develop new niche markets? 
What will it take to develop marketing and export strategies at grower, regional and national levels?

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2 5 Market Access and Trade
Fishery products are one of the most internationally traded of all foodstuffs, with between 35 and 
40 per cent of fisheries production traded annually. International trade in fishery commodities was
estimated to be US$53.4 billion dollars in 1999 (FAO 2000).
Imports of fisheries products are highly concentrated in a limited number of mainly developed
countries. Japan is the world’s largest individual market for fisheries products, importing 23 per cent of
all imports of fishery products in the world in 1998, while the United States accounted for a further 16
per cent. These two countries together with the European Union account for three-quarters of all
imports of fishery products in the world (FAO 2000). 
Australia engages in a range of international fora such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO); Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD), in order to facilitate access for Australian commodities into overseas markets and ensure
Australia's trade interests are protected. 
Governments and private companies also engage with other countries through bilateral arrangements.
For example, substantial lobbying of the European Union (EU) over recent years by the Australian Prawn
Promotion Association and the Commonwealth Government saw EU import tariffs for prawns reduced,
albeit on a temporary basis.
Trade barriers provide an impediment to efficient trading in seafood and a barrier to Australian exporters.
Import tariff rates for seafood products in the APEC region (Table F) are directly related to the level of
processing, with higher tariffs for higher levels of domestic processing (Brown and Connell 2001). 
Table F: Tariffs on seafood imports in selected APEC countries, 1998 a, b
Hong Kong
Chinese Taipei
Tuna (all products)
Live, fresh or chilled
Rock lobster (all products)
Live, fresh or chilled
Dried, salted or in brine
Prawns (all products)
Live, fresh or chilled
Dried, salted or in brine
Scallops (all products)
Live, fresh or chilled
Dried, salted or in brine
Abalone (all products)
Live, fresh or chilled
Salted or in brine
a The rates presented in this table are on a most favoured nation basis.
b Tariffs can differ according to the species. Source: APEC , Brown and Connell 2001.

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The majority of Australian seafood exports are subject to non-tariff barriers, such as import quotas, food
safety regulations, quarantine regulations, subsidies to domestic producers, and even delays by the
importing country in clearing and forwarding imported goods. Meeting increasingly strict food safety
and quarantine import requirements from countries adds to the cost of exporting. Given the relative
elusiveness of non-tariff barriers, it is difficult to estimate the extent to which Australian exports are
impeded. Nevertheless, it is likely that non-tariff barriers have influenced trade to a much greater
degree than have tariff barriers (Hartman, Klijn and Cox 2000). Food safety and quarantine are discussed
in more detail in section 4.4 Regulatory Framework.
Requirements by importing countries for certification and labelling, to identify environmental
sustainability and/or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in human foods and feed for animals
destined for human consumption are other forms of non-tariff barriers.
Despite steady reductions in tariffs on fish and aquaculture products in recent years, tariffs and non-
tariff measures continue to adversely impact on Australian exporters. If trade barriers were to be
reduced then the volume of world seafood trade would increase to the benefit of Australian producers.
How can industry and government work together to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers in key 
overseas markets? 
What support does industry require to identify and meet domestic and international market demands?
Are existing government assistance and incentive schemes (refer Appendix 3) adequate?
4.4 Regulatory Framework
4.4.1 Objective
To ensure an efficient business environment.
4.4.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
• Removing the administrative burden of regulations on aquaculture businesses.
• Ensuring regulations meet government and industry needs.
4.4.3 Management
The key challenge facing governments and industry is to work together to ensure that aquaculture
regulations and approval processes are soundly based, equitable, enforceable and, where appropriate,
consistent throughout Australia.
Commonwealth legislation and regulations for ecologically sustainable development, food safety,
aquatic animal health, quarantine, trade and taxation also apply to aquaculture.
State/Territory and Local Governments have direct management control over aquaculture in most areas
within their boundaries. State/Territory regulations are in place to ensure ecological sustainable
development and environmental protection, allocation and management of resources, disease
notification, access to broodstock or juveniles and compliance with State/Territory food safety
regulations. Local Governments are responsible for providing some facilities for aquaculture and for
ensuring that planning and zoning processes under their control do not adversely affect the
environment and other resource users. 
The Ministerial Council of Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA), SCFA and the Aquaculture
Committee of SCFA (Box 3) are the main mechanisms for coordinating Commonwealth and
State/Territory Government actions on aquaculture. These groups meet anywhere from one to four times

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site allocations, licenses and conducts environmental assessments. Other States have ‘one stop shops’ in
place for each of the three individual processes. For example, in terms of site allocation, some
States/Territories have a ‘one stop shop’ system in place for marine aquaculture. These include Western
Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory. New South Wales, Western Australia,
Victoria, Northern Territory and South Australia have developed ‘one stop shops’ for aquaculture
licensing (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001).
Many of industry’s concerns about the administrative burden of legislation relate to application of
environmental legislation. This is not surprising given the complex nature of applying and monitoring ESD. 
It is difficult to determine the extent to which delays in administration of assessment and approvals
under environmental legislation might have hindered aquaculture development. That the above issues
were also raised in the 1994 National Aquaculture Strategy (SCFA 1994), in an Australian Seafood
Industry Council discussion paper "Australian Coastal Aquaculture: Economic, Social and Ecological
Perspectives" in 1996 (ASIC 1996) and at the 1999 National Aquaculture Beyond 2000 Workshop (ACIL
1999) suggests that for some time industry has been frustrated by environmental assessment and
approval processes in general. It also indicates that neither governments nor industry have been overly
successful to date in simplifying or streamlining processes. 
One option to streamline the process is for the Commonwealth Government to accredit State/Territory
assessment processes for the purposes of Commonwealth legislation. Commonwealth and State/Territory
Governments are currently working to accredit State environmental assessment processes for the purpose
of the Commonwealth EPBC Act. Accreditation of State/Territory assessment processes would do away
with the need for detailed assessments under Commonwealth laws. Negotiations are under way between
the Commonwealth Government and State/Territory Governments to develop bilateral agreements on
accreditation of assessment processes in accordance with the EPBC Act. While this process is underway,
the aquaculture industry and governments need to identify other ways in which they can work better
together in administering and complying with environmental and other regulations. 
How can the existing working relationships between the key industry, State and Commonwealth agencies
involved in aquaculture policy and management be improved?
Do Commonwealth and State/Territory Government regulation and policy frameworks reflect and address
community perceptions of aquaculture?
Do ‘one-stop-shops’ work? If so, should all States/Territories be encouraged to implement them? Would
this concept be feasible at the national level?
Would a Commonwealth policy for aquaculture assist development?  If so, what should the national
policy focus on
What can governments do to minimise any adverse administrative impacts of environmental legislation
on the aquaculture industry?
4.4.4 Food safety
Consumers expect that the food they eat will not make them sick. Consumer concerns over seafood safety is
one of the major impediments to increased domestic consumption of seafood (Ruello 1999). Therefore food
businesses (including aquaculture producers, processors and retailers) need to provide assurances to the
public and have in place plans to ensure that the food they produce and handle is safe to eat.
The Australian New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) is a statutory authority operating under the
Australia New Zealand Food Authority Act 1991. ANZFA works with the Australia New Zealand Food
Standards Council (ANZFSC) of health Ministers to develop and maintain laws and systems that regulate
food in Australia and New Zealand. 

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ANZFA develops food standards and other regulatory measures for Australia and New Zealand. Food
standards are published in the Food Standards Code once they are approved by ANZFSC . The Authority is
currently reviewing the Food Standards Code to deliver food regulations that are consistent, easier to
interpret, less prescriptive, more generic and fewer in number.
Currently, all food producers, including those in the aquaculture sector, have an obligation to make 
and sell ‘safe’ food under the Food Standards Code and State and Territory Food and/or Health Acts. 
The food safety standards have been developed to provide the means to ensure that this legal obligation
is met.
Every aquaculture business should have in place a comprehensive food safety plan that identifies the
potential food safety hazard in an operation and the actions necessary to reduce the chances of a food
poisoning outbreak occurring. 
Seafood Services Australia (SSA) is a program established and funded by the FRDC that provide
information to the seafood industry on food safety and quality systems (see Appendix 3).
While food safety plans are relevant to all aquaculture producers, they are not sufficiently specific for
some species. For example, bivalve molluscs, such as mussels and oysters, are often farmed in estuaries
and rivers, which are, occasionally subjected to pollution from a range of human activities including
run-off from urban and agricultural areas. The Australian Shellfish Sanitation Control Program (ASSCP)
was established by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to provide a reasonable assurance
for consumers and producers that bivalve molluscs are safe for human consumption. It is mandatory
that all exports of bivalve molluscs be accredited under the ASSCP program. Unfortunately, shellfish sold
on the domestic market do not require this level of accreditation. 
What can be done to strengthen consumer confidence in the safety of aquaculture products?
How can the aquaculture industry apply in a feasible manner the same minimum export-standards for
food safety to domestic production?
How do governments and industry ensure that new and existing food regulations do not put excessive
requirements on industry, whilst making sure industry meets appropriate standards and adopts relevant
codes of practice?
4.4.5 Chemicals and residues
Aquaculture producers occasionally need access to a range of agricultural and veterinary chemicals to
control pests and diseases on their farms, and maintain water quality. The possibility of chemical
residues in food is an important issue both domestically and in trade. The health and safety of farmers
using chemicals is also an issue.
Importing countries, such as the USA, are becoming increasingly aware of drug and chemical residue
issues in food products and are requiring certification and testing as part of the import approval process
for food products. 
Under the Chemical and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994, all chemicals must be registered by the
National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRA) before they can be
supplied, sold or used in Australia. There is a need to ensure that adequate data on the intended
chemical use, withholding periods etc., can be collected to enable the NRA to register a chemical for use
in aquaculture. Refer to Appendix 3 for more information on the NRA.
The Australian aquaculture industry does not need to use significant amounts of chemicals because it is
free of many diseases found in other countries. The challenge remains for the aquaculture industry,
governments and regulatory authorities to develop strategies that combine efficient production methods
without detrimental effects to food products, the environment, the safety of target animals, and the

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safety of persons who administer the compounds (Percival 2000). There are opportunities to streamline
and reduce the cost of the registration process for chemicals by taking a national approach to data
collection and registration.
Is national coordination of registration of chemicals required? If so, how should it be set up and who
should pay for it?
4.4.6 Aquatic animal health
Disease is currently a major constraint to aquaculture growth in many countries and many exotic
pathogens would pose a serious threat to aquaculture producers if they were introduced in Australia.
Thus, the maintenance of fish health; minimising the risks of disease incursions and outbreaks; and
development of programs enabling rapid detection and response to any health or disease problem is
critical to ensuring further industry development (ACIL 1999).
In December 1999, the Commonwealth Government released the National Aquatic Animal Health Plan
(AQUAPLAN) (AFFA 1999). AQUAPLAN is a comprehensive strategy, developed jointly by industry and
government, that outlines objectives and projects to develop a national approach to emergency
preparedness and response and to the overall management of aquatic animal health in Australia.
AQUAPLAN addresses aquatic animal health issues in eight key strategic programs. These are
international linkages; quarantine; surveillance, monitoring and reporting; preparedness and response
arrangements; awareness; research and development; legislation, policies and jurisdiction; and
resources and funding. The AQUAPLAN programs are now at various stages of implementation. 
The current outstanding issues regarding implementation and maintenance of AQUAPLAN include 
weak communication links between key stakeholders; no established compensation arrangements; 
lack of ownership of the program; and importantly the need to secure resources from government 
and industry for the on-going implementation and maintenance of the program. It has also become
apparent that there is a general lack of qualified fish health experts in Australia to undertake and
develop diagnostic services.
Incursions of endemic and exotic pests, weeds and diseases in the aquatic environment need to be
managed to maintain biodiversity and to protect the aquaculture industry from disease. 
Australia will develop and implement a National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine
Pest Incursions during the next two years, including prevention systems to reduce the risk of
importation and translocation of introduced marine pests; coordinated emergency responses to new
incursions and translocations; and ongoing control of introduced marine pests already in Australia.
Australia reports to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) which is the World Organisation for
Animal Health.  The OIE provides animal health guidelines and standards relating to the diagnosis of
disease, risk assessment, import/export procedures and trade certification.  Member countries provide
regular reports against a list of notifiable diseases.  The WTO recognises OIE standards as the
international benchmark.
Are the current arrangements for handling aquatic pests and aquatic diseases considered adequate? How
can they be improved?
How can industry and government improve diagnostic capacity in terms of skilled fish health personnel
and technologies?
What industry resources and commitment to health management programs, particularly the AQUAPLAN,
needs to be undertaken?
How can the fish health management capacity of aquaculturalists be improved?

S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
3 1
4.4.7 Quarantine
The importation of aquatic animals and animal products involves a degree of disease risk to Australian
aquaculture. Australia's quarantine, agriculture and food export laws are a national responsibility and
are administered by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and Biosecurity Australia
within AFFA (refer Appendix 3).
Biosecurity Australia is responsible for developing new policy or reviewing existing quarantine policy on
imports of animals and plants and animal and plant products. The development and review of
quarantine policy is undertaken as an import risk analysis (IRA). Biosecurity Australia consults with
stakeholders through Animal Biosecurity Policy Memoranda (ABPMs), and Plant Biosecurity Policy
Memoranda (PBPMs). 
In applying quarantine restrictions, countries under the WTO, such as Australia, must demonstrate that
any restriction constitutes an appropriate level of protection (ALOP). WTO member countries define their
ALOP in accordance with their views on such risks. The ALOP concept also protects WTO members against
trade discrimination through the inconsistent application of import protection regimes. What actually
constitutes an ALOP is clarified and refined continually in practical terms via cases before the WTO
(Wilson 2000).
Recently completed IRA relevant to aquaculture include marine finfish; non-viable salmonids; and
ornamental finfish. Given the potential impact of a disease outbreak from imported products, it is
important that an IRA is conducted in a transparent manner and industry is fully consulted.
On quarantine matters, the aquaculture industry has expressed concerns over diseases entering Australia
through imports of aquaculture products from overseas, real and perceived inequalities between
countries on ALOP for products, as well as lack of resources to adequately respond to IRA and WTO
related processes. These issues were highlighted by the salmon industry’s involvement recently in the
IRA and WTO case on the importation of uncooked Atlantic salmon meat from overseas.
What can the aquaculture industry do to put itself in a stronger position to respond to any changes in
import quarantine protocols for aquatic products?
How can the aquaculture industry and Commonwealth Government work together to better respond to
any overseas challenges on import quarantine restrictions for aquatic products?
4.5 Research and Development
4.5.1 Objective
To maximise the benefits of research and innovation.
4.5.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
• Increasing funding for aquaculture R&D.
• Keeping current R&D focussed on meeting core needs.
• Improving transfer of R&D between researchers and industry.
• Improving management and protection of intellectual property.

3 2
S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
4.5.3 Funding
The three key elements in the innovation process include:
• strengthening the ability to generate ideas and undertake research;
• accelerating the commercial application of those ideas; and 
• developing and retaining Australian skills (ISR 2001).
Much of the research and development in aquaculture is carried out or funded by State/Territory and
Commonwealth government departments and universities. In 1996/97 total Commonwealth and
State/Territory government expenditure on aquaculture research was $22.9 million or 5.2 per cent of the
gross value of production for the same year (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001). Commonwealth
government R&D programs and providers are listed in Appendix 3. 
State/Territory Governments together fund and undertake more aquaculture research and development
than the Commonwealth. State/Territory Governments have research centres responsible for aquaculture
that are attached generally to the department responsible for aquaculture. 
In general, research by industry, while difficult to measure, is comprised of on-farm experimentation
within companies. Industry also contributes to and cooperates with public sector agencies and funding
sources (Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001). The amount of funding contributed by the
aquaculture industry varies markedly across the States/Territories and between sectors of the industry
within the States/Territories. Industry contributions to the FRDC are voluntary. Under current
arrangements the industry could attract more government funds if it was prepared to contribute more
itself (ACIL 1999). Many small to medium scale aquaculture producers are either unable to or are not
convinced that it is worth investing in collaborative R&D.
How can the aquaculture industry take full advantage of R&D tax deductibility provisions and
government funding incentives?
How can the aquaculture industry encourage all sectors of the industry to contribute to R&D funding?
4.5.4 Focus
One of the major issues raised by industry participants at the 1999 National Aquaculture Beyond 2000
Workshop concerned the lack of strategic targeting of R&D, to make best use of limited resources. This
issue was also considered in the 1994 National Aquaculture Strategy. 
There are currently over 70 aquaculture species being researched by Australian research institutions. The
FRDC is funding research projects for 35 species. It is highly unlikely that all these species will be
commercially successful, particularly given that just five species account for over 85 per cent of the
gross value of production of Australian aquaculture. While it is not reasonable to expect a 100 per cent
success rate with research and development projects, there does appear to be scope for rationalising the
number of species being researched through public funding. This has the potential to better concentrate
available funds on those species considered to have a substantial probability of commercial success
(Cox, Davies, Hardcastle and Stubbs 2001). A number of methodologies have been suggested for setting
R&D priorities.
In its 2000-2005 strategic plan, the FRDC has stated that it will only invest in the five most valuable
species or other species that have been successfully commercialised or have high potential for
commercialisation (FRDC 2000).
Traditionally, much of previous R&D in aquaculture has focussed on new research, rather than
development and extension of existing research.

S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
3 3
At the 1999 National Aquaculture Beyond 2000 Workshop it was suggested that research should only be
funded for those species for which there was a good knowledge of the biology of the species; market
potential; and where marginal advantages are able to be exploited in Australia (ACIL 1999). 
It is a difficult task to focus and coordinate aquaculture R&D at a national level because Commonwealth
and State/Territory Governments, researchers and industry often have different research priorities. As a
minimum, a mechanism needs to be in place to ensure there is no duplication of effort in research
between providers. A further step could be to develop and introduce a consistent set of national
evaluation criteria that all research providers agree to use to identify research subjects. For example,
agree to fund research of only those species that are marketable, capable of domestication within a
reasonable timeframe and will be profitable (ANZFAC 1992b). The Commonwealth Government and
National Aquaculture Council are well placed to assist with coordination and focusing of aquaculture
R&D at a national level.
Many aquaculture species in Australia have only been cultured commercially for the last 20 years, so
there is still considerable potential to realise productivity benefits from selective breeding and other
biotechnology. Domestication of new native species; improved disease diagnosis and treatment;
improved aquaculture systems; improved environmental management systems; and identifying key
markets are some of the major research needs identified by the aquaculture industry.
Advances in gene technology has the potential to provide significant benefits to the Australian
aquaculture industry, directly through higher productivity, and indirectly from lower feed costs flowing
through from increased crop production, because of higher crop yields. The Commonwealth
Government, through various regulatory agencies, monitors the use of gene technology. 
To date, there has been a lack of aquaculture industry interest in the use of genetically modified organism
(GMO) technology to enhance industry prospects. This attitude is due to uncertainty surrounding whether
such products, if produced, would be marketable, based on current consumer attitudes. This is a
reasonable approach given that Australian aquaculture produce commands premium prices, based on its
superior quality and clean, green, natural image. Additionally, some countries may soon elect to ban
imported GMO foods. Despite current trends away from consumption of GMO food, there may well come a
time when competitive pressures, combined with increasing consumer acceptance of GMOs make the
adoption of GMO technology in aquaculture necessary to maintain competitiveness. 
It is still unclear whether all or only parts of the Australian aquaculture industry support a position of
not using GMO technology. The industry needs to clarify its position in respect of GMO use so that it is in
a better position to influence and respond to government policy and consumer needs and attitudes.
Some of the industry’s major sectors have an on-going dependency on imported and fish based feeds.
Feed constitutes a substantial proportion of production costs and much research has been undertaken
in the past (and still needs to be undertaken) to develop cheaper, grain-based and locally manufactured
feeds capable of replacing expensive imports of feed fish and fish-based feeds. 
What can be done to empower industry to take a stronger role in prioritising and undertaking research?
Are the current funding structures delivering the best return on investment for research and development? 
Do producers have access to the critical technology they need for growth?
Is industry identifying key technologies that they are already world leaders in and how well are they
using them to gain a competitive advantage? 
What should a national aquaculture industry policy on genetically modified organisms cover?

3 4
S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
4.5.5 Technology transfer
Technology transfer is about improving the productivity and competitiveness of industry by facilitating
implementation of research. It is therefore vital that appropriate mechanisms and incentives are in
place for building strong links between funding bodies, research providers and industry. 
One existing mechanism is the Commonwealth Government’s Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) program
administered by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The CRC program provides matching
funding to State/Territory Government and industry contributions to facilitate long-term collaborative
research between industry and researchers in key industry sectors. A CRC for Aquaculture was funded from
1994 to 2000. Recently funding has been allocated to a Sustainable Aquaculture of Finfish CRC (Aquafin CRC)
that will undertake key research in salmon and tuna over the next seven years. Other Commonwealth
Government programs aimed at facilitating technology transfer are described in Appendix 3.
Other options for building stronger linkages between industry and research include establishment and
collaboration in technology networks; demonstration projects; and workshops. 
How can new technologies be effectively and efficiently implemented or applied?
How can arrangements between governments, industry and researchers be improved to facilitate the
sharing of information and to reduce duplication of effort? What is the potential for e-mail/internet
versus extension officers?
How can the links between producers, extension officers and researchers be strengthened? Strengthening international alliances
Developing international alliances between industry, governments and researchers can also facilitate
technology transfer. There is an opportunity to sell Australian research and technology overseas. There are
also benefits to be derived from learning from overseas research and experience. Sales of Australian expertise
and learning from overseas experience can be facilitated through participation in collaborative projects;
workshops; study tours; trade shows; exchanges and accessing major international research facilities. 
The Commonwealth Government has established formal information and trade sharing agreements with
China and Thailand. Technology and trade alliances can also be facilitated through Australian
membership of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in the Asia-Pacific (NACA), Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).
With membership to the above organisations there is significant opportunity for technical exchange with
overseas countries, yet to date, much of this opportunity has remained untapped. 
One example of the benefits that can be gained through collaborative research is the joint research
Australian researchers have been doing with their Asia-Pacific counterparts, facilitated by NACA and
APEC , on aquaculture of tropical reef fish. Live reef fish are currently caught from tropical reefs in the
Asia-Pacific region for Asian markets. Prices for live reef fish have remained high, despite the Asian
economic crisis, with some species fetching average wholesale prices of $140 - $150/kg (Rimmer 2000).
While Australian researchers are still some years away from developing reliable aquaculture techniques
for reef fish, the collaborative research with international institutions has brought us much closer to
establishing a valuable reef fish farming industry than would have otherwise been the case. 
How can Australian industry and researchers develop better linkages with their international counterparts? 

S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
3 5
4.5.6 Intellectual property
The significant investment by the aquaculture industry in new species and processes in Australia raises
the issue of protecting the resultant intellectual property. Some sectors of the aquaculture industry have
expressed concern that current exports of live Australian native fish species could lead to overseas
competition. For example, red claw, marron, silver perch and golden perch are all produced overseas.
On the other hand, Australia’s relatively disease free status provides opportunities for on-going export
sales of certified pathogen free seedstock. The proximity of Australia, particularly the tropical north, and
the potential for out of season seedstock sales, provide other advantages (O’Sullivan 2001). 
Given the often-complex nature of farming aquatic products, much of the intellectual property may not
so much be found in key technologies or species but rather in the corporate knowledge accumulated
over time. Special attention should be made to protect corporate knowledge by retaining key staff.
To what extent is it possible to protect intellectual property? 
Should Australian manufacturers be encouraged to expand their production through the sale of live fish,
equipment and technology overseas?  Will this erode our competitive advantages?
4.6 Education and Training
4.6.1 Objective
To develop the capacity of the aquaculture industry to convert the intellectual capital of its workforce
into a highly competitive product or service.
4.6.2 Summary of impediments and opportunities
• Improving access to education and training resources that meets industry needs at all levels.
• Improving work practices and workplace environment.
4.6.3 Focus
There are now a wide variety of educational institutions in all States/Territories offering aquaculture
education and training and supply now probably exceeds demand. In the past, the aquaculture industry
has been characterised by low levels of formal qualifications amongst workers and a lack of clearly
defined career paths. However as the seafood industry is experiencing significant growth, there is an
identified need for more integrated forms of education and training to develop a high-level multi-
skilled workforce. 
As the demand for aquaculture products increases in the domestic and international market place, so
will the need for a highly flexible workforce that can maintain high levels of competency in all areas,
particularly food safety and total quality management.
Closing the gap between research and development requires the integration of high-level education,
hands on skills and management training to maintain a competitive advantage. As the aquaculture
industry adopts new research and technologies, there will be an increased reliance on trained
employees. Changing technologies are impacting upon work practices at all levels of industry and will
result in the further growth of in-house and specialist courses. 
The growing strength of aquaculture, both locally and globally, will also have a significant impact on the
processing and value-adding sector. It is expected that strong employment growth in both sectors will
result in a high demand for training both at the entry level and through up skilling programs. 

3 6
S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
There is a growing trend for the aquaculture industry to embrace training as a key component of
business operation, but as many operations are outside metropolitan areas, the need for flexible
training to meet individual enterprise requirements has been highlighted.
As a response to this need, the Australian seafood industry established Seafood Training Australia to
manage the introduction of competency based training through the development of training packages
for the Australian seafood industry. To accomplish this task, it draws upon assistance from industry and
government programs such as the FRDC , Australian National Training Authority and the Commonwealth
Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. 
Seafood Training Australia is currently implementing a National Seafood Training Package across
Australia. The National Seafood Training Package will provide more relevant training and meet the
needs of both new entrants and existing industry personnel, who require access to individual
competencies rather than whole courses. 
It is expected that the biggest change relating to education and training will be through the delivery of
workplace training, as more industry members are keen to manage their training on site. Access
continues to be a major issue for an industry that is widely dispersed throughout regional and rural
Australia. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is also an area with strong growth with an increase in the
demand for workplace assessors to facilitate the process on site.
In contrast, higher education courses have continued to produce an oversupply of graduates for a
limited number of technical and scientific officer positions. Industry demand for these types of courses
remains quite limited with existing graduates continuing to compete for a relatively small number of
specialist positions. Consideration needs to be given towards higher level education and training to
become less focussed on research outcomes and more supportive towards integrated industry
development, which includes a stronger emphasis on management and marketing. 
Current training and education courses need to be more enterprise relevant and meet industry needs.
There has been recent evidence that a number of graduates of diploma and to degree courses have been
recruited by the industry at a traineeship level, in order to gain more practical competencies (Seafood
Training SA Industry Training Plan 2001-2003).
Does the aquaculture industry have adequate access to training? 
Is the Seafood Industry Training Package sufficient to underpin the hands-on aspect of workforce
education and training?  If not, what must be done to reduce any shortcomings?
What specialist courses and training needs should be implemented to raise industry’s technical and
management capacity? 
4.6.4 Workplace relations
The ability of industries to grow and adapt successfully to an increasingly competitive world-trading
environment depends on part on the skills and flexibility of both management and the workforce.
The workplace relations system in Australia has undergone significant changes and reform during the
past few years. The introduction of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 provided employers and employees
with the opportunity to enter into more flexible working arrangements. Agreement making is now the
main focus of the national workplace relations system.
The biggest issue regarding workplace relations in the aquaculture industry concerns the occupational
health and safety of employees. Depending on the species cultured, some aquaculture farmers and
employees may need to work with hazardous chemicals or in potentially dangerous situations such as
diving around and working on ocean-based cages and nets or in and around large tanks and dams.
Employers should ensure employees receive regular training in the proper and safe use of equipment, as

S T R I V I N G   F O R   G R O W T H
3 7
well as providing appropriate protective gear and safe workplaces. Development of guidelines for safe
work practices for various sectors of the industry may assist.
Is workplace relations an issue for either employers or employees in the aquaculture industry?
Are current guidelines for safe work practices satisfactory? If not, how can they be improved?

4 0
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) 1989, Aquaculture production 
. FAO Fisheries Circular, 815, Rome. 
FAO 2000, State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2000, FAO Fisheries Department, Rome (and previous
FRDC (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation), 2000, Investing for tomorrow’s fish: the FRDC’s
research and development plan, 2000 to 2005
. Canberra.
Hartmann, J., Klijn, N. and Cox, A. 2000. Seafood Trade Liberalisation in the APEC region, ABARE Research
Report 2000.3, Canberra.
Hird, M. 2000, A Banker’s View of Aquaculture, Presentation at Aquafest 2000, Hobart.
Holland, P. & Brown, D. 1999, Aquaculture Policy: Selected experiences from overseas. ABARE Research
Report 99.7, Canberra.
ISR (Dept. of Industry, Science and Resources) 2001, Backing Australia’s Ability - An innovation action
plan for the future
, Canberra.
O’Sullivan, D. 2001, Issues Paper for the Aquaculture Action Agenda, Dosaqua Pty Ltd, Adelaide.
O’Sullivan, D. and Dobson, J. 2000, Status of Australian Aquaculture in 1998/99. AustAsia Aquaculture
Trade Directory 2000, Turtle Press, Hobart.
Percival, S. 2000, Registration of Aquaculture Chemicals, FRDC Research Report Project 96/314, Canberra.
Rimmer, M. 2000, Reef fish aquaculture symposium attracts wide interest, Article in ‘Aquaculture Asia’,
Vol. 5, No. 4, October – December 2000, Network of Aquaculture Centres in the Asia-Pacific.
Ruello & Associates 1999, A study of the retail sale and consumption of seafood in Sydney. Fisheries
Research and Development Corporation Project 1998/345, Canberra.
SA Fishing and Seafood Industry Training Council 2000, Seafood Training South Australia Industry
Training Plan 2001 – 2003
. Adelaide
SCFA (Standing Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture) Working Group on Aquaculture 1994, National
Strategy on Aquaculture in Australia
, Canberra.
SCFA (Standing Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture) Aquaculture Committee 1997, National Strategy
on Aquaculture in Australia: Implementation Review, Canberra.
Weston, L., Hardcastle, S. and Davies, L. 2001, Profitability of Selected Aquaculture Species, ABARE
Research Report 01.3, Canberra.
Wilson, D. 2000, Appropriate level of protection. Paper presented at Quarantine and Market Access -
Playing by the WTO rules forum, 6-7 September 2000, Canberra.

4 2
A P P E N D I X   1
The National Aquaculture Development Committee will:
1) Advance the development of a sustainable, internationally competitive and export oriented 
aquaculture industry capable of achieving $2.5 billion in annual sales by 2010.
2) Develop and implement the Aquaculture Action Agenda including:
develop a communication strategy;
identify impediments to development of the industry and suggest solutions;
identify and prioritise outcomes necessary to enhance growth;
identify and prioritise actions required to achieve outcomes;
develop a timetable for undertaking priority actions and achieving outcomes;
f )
allocate responsibility amongst stakeholders for each action;
regularly review and report on progress of the action agenda.
3) Gain industry and community support for continued aquaculture development.
4) Encourage economic, social and environmental sustainable aquaculture development.
5) Encourage mutual trust and cooperation between government and the aquaculture industry.
6) Disseminate information to industry and governments regarding the Committee’s business

A P P E N D I X   3
4 5
Innovation Investment Fund
Scheme removes the need to 'drawback' these
charges after export.
The Innovation Investment Fund aims to develop
a venture capital market for early-stage
companies to develop technology-based firms
GPO Box 9839
that are commercialising R&D, Funding is
Canberra  ACT  2601
matched by private-sector investors on a 2:1
Phone: (02) 6213 6000
basis over a 10-year period.
Business Hotline: 13 28 46 (local call fee)
Pooled Development Funds
The Pooled Development Funds Programme is
Invest Australia
designed to increase the supply of equity capital
Located within the Department of Industry,
for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Science and Resources, Invest Australia, in
These Pooled Development Funds are private -
partnership with Austrade, has the task of
sector companies, established by legislation that
promoting Australia as an attractive and
raise capital from investors and use the capital
competitive investment location and facilitating
to take equity in Australian SMEs through new
both domestic and foreign direct investment.
shares.  In return, pooled development funds
Invest Australia facilitates major projects and
and their shareholders are taxed at a lower rate
provides a diverse range of key investor services
on income generated through fund activities.
to foreign and domestic companies considering
establishing or investing in operations within
Commercialising Emerging Technologies
The services of its Investment Commissioners in
eleven overseas locations are provided under an
COMET is designed to increase the
agreement with the Australian Trade Commission
commercialisation of innovative products,
(Austrade), while the Invest Australia's offices in
processes and services.  It does this by providing
Sydney and Melbourne are staffed jointly by
individuals, early-stage growth firms and spin-off
Austrade and the Department.
companies with a tailored package of support to
improve their potential for successful
commercialisation.  Assistance is available over a
Feasibility studies
maximum of two years. Two forms of assistance
Invest Australia can provide financial assistance,
are offered: management skills development and
in conjunction with State or Territory
tailored assistance for commercialisation.
governments, to eligible companies to undertake
pre-feasibility or feasibility studies into major
Project By-law Scheme
The Project By-law Scheme provides import duty
concessions on capital equipment used in major
Regional Headquarters Programme (RHQ)
mining, resource processing, manufacturing and
Invest Australia administers the Regional
agriculture-based industries.  Assistance is only
Headquarters Programme, which facilitates the
available where the total value of capital
establishment of regional headquarters and
equipment (from Australia and overseas) used
regional operations of overseas companies.  The
for each significant phase of a particular project
Programme provides investors with access to
exceeds $10 million.
tailored immigration agreements for streamlined
immigration of expatriate employees and tax
concessions for establishment costs.
Tradex provides relief to exporting companies
via an up-front exemption from Customs duty
and GST on imported goods intended for re-
export or to be used as inputs to exports.  The

4 6
A P P E N D I X   3
Other assistance
Bizlink 2000 is available through key government
business portals such as the Business Entry Point
Investors may also be eligible for a range of
( and the Ausindustry 
government industry programmes in areas 
such as research and development, export
development, training and education.
GPO Box 9839
Invest Australia 
Canberra  ACT  2601
Level 6, 20 Allara Street
Phone: (02) 6213 6000
Canberra City  ACT  2601
Business Hotline: 13 28 46 (local call fee)
Phone: (02) 6213 6700
Phone: 1800 623 261
Fax: (02) 6213 6705
Seafood Services Australia (SSA)
SSA operates under a joint agreement between
the FRDC, the Centre for Food Technology of the
Queensland Department of Primary Industries
and the Queensland Seafood Industry Association.
Business Entry Point
SSA offers an Australia-wide service to anyone 
Business Entry Point is a Commonwealth
in the business of catching, farming, processing,
Government business internet portal, providing
transport, wholesaling, retailing, exporting,
access to a wide range of information from the
importing or cooking seafood. SSA offers
Commonwealth Government and State, Territory
information and advice on technical issues,
and local governments, and access to a growing
guidance on food safety, quality management
range of on-line transactions.  
standards and assistance with adding value to 
a business through developing new products 
Business Entry Point covers a range of topics
and processes. 
encountered by most businesses, 'Including
employing staff, taxation, superannuation,
Seafood Services Australia
starting and operating a business, exporting and
Phone: 1300 130 321
importing, and legal and licensing issues.
Fax: 07 3406 8677
Business Entry Point is a free service and is
located on the internet at:
BizLink 2000
BizLink 2000 is the major product of the
National Business Information Service. It is
The Department of Education, Training and
designed to provide small business and business
Youth Affairs (DETYA) - New Apprenticeships
advisers with easy access to comprehensive,
The aim of this initiative is to provide formal,
relevant and up-to-date information on business
nationally recognised training against the
regulation and assistance. It does this by
requirements of industry developed Training
providing information on all licences, permits
Packages. The financial incentives are provided
and codes of practice required for business 
to employers to help reduce the real cost 
to operate
of training.
It also contains essential information on
The incentives available include:
important business-related issues such as
taxation, record keeping, superannuation,
• An incentive available to most employers
occupational health and safety, customs,
engaging a New Apprentice
intellectual property and workplace relations.

A P P E N D I X   3
4 7
• Incentives to employ and train a New
Indigenous Small Business Fund
Apprentice in a skill classified as being ‘in
shortage’ in rural and regional Australia
This programme, jointly funded by the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
• Assistance to employ and train a person with
a disability
Commission and the Department of
Employment, Workplace Relations and Small
New Apprenticeships website: 
Business, provides funding to organisations for
New Apprenticeships Call Centre: 1800 639 629
projects that identify and facilitate Indigenous
business opportunities.
Advice and self training
Examples of projects that may be funded include
The Commonwealth Government has published a
those that help develop business management
range of booklets which provide useful advice and
skills, provide skills development and mentoring
self-training for prospective established small
and help with market development. 
business managers. These publications include
Indigenous Employment Programme Infoline
the Big News for Small Business series of over 60
1800 679 304
easy-to-read booklets and training packages that
cover all aspects of small business management.
These include information to help people start,
build, budget, sell, survive and grow.  
Department of Environment and Heritage
AusInfo Teleinfo on 13 24 47 and from
Government Info Shops.
DoEH administers Commonwealth environmental
Small Business Enterprise Culture and
legislation and programs, which include
Incubator Programmes
programs to help Australian industry to improve
its environmental management. Information and
The Small Business Enterprise Culture
publications are available from the Community
Programme fosters skills development initiatives
Information Unit, 1800 803 772.
and mentoring services for small business and
supports women in small business.
GPO Box 787
Small Business Incubators are designed to assist
Canberra  ACT  2601
new and growing businesses to become
Phone: (02) 6274 1111
established and profitable by providing
Fax: (02) 6274 1123
premises, advice, services and other support.
The incubation period is normally from one to
three years, during which time fledgling
businesses can become established before
graduating into the wider business community
Office of Small Business, Department of
Australian Trade Commission
Employment, Workplace Relations and Small
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)
helps Australian companies, especially small to
GPO Box 9879
medium enterprises, to sell their services and
Canberra  ACT  2601
products overseas, and promotes inward and
Phone: (02) 6121 6000
outward investment.
Austrade has more than 90 offices overseas and 14
offices in Australian metropolitan areas and major
cities.  This is further supplemented by a network

4 8
A P P E N D I X   3
of 21 offices in regional and rural Australia. About
grants going to companies with 25 or fewer
half of Austrade's staff are located overseas.  Its
employees. Claimable categories in the Scheme
overseas market specialists work with export
cover: overseas representation and market visits;
counsellors and industry specialists based in
communications, literature and advertising;
Australia to deliver a unique export market
product promotions and trade fairs; and short-
development service to Australian business.
term marketing consultants.
Through its network of regional trade
Austrade 13 28 78 or Export Finance and
commissioners and State offices, Austrade takes
Insurance Corporation 1800 685 109.
its services directly to clients in regional, rural
and city areas.
Getting into export workshops
Austrade's services are tailored to meet the
'Getting into Export' is a management workshop
needs of Australian business, ranging from first-
for decision-makers, such as the chief executive
time exporters to well established exporters.
officers, general managers and marketing and
Austrade helps companies:
business managers of companies that may be
considering export for the first time.  The
• seeking general information and advice about
workshop is designed to help companies decide
whether they are ready for exporting.
• selecting, understanding and entering new
A workbook has also been designed as a
export markets; and 
practical guide to take firms unfamiliar 
• expanding existing export markets.
with exporting through the stages of
export preparation.
Austrade offers a range of services to exporters,
including practical export information and
Austrade Export Hotline 13 28 78.
advice, identification of overseas opportunities
and on-the-ground exporting and investment
Export access
support overseas and in Australia.  Other services
One of the primary objectives of the Export
include a comprehensive trade display
Access Programme is to help small to medium-
programme, services to identify potential
sized enterprises start exporting on a sustainable
overseas business partners, services to research
basis.  Export Access Programme provides
and access high potential markets for Australian
participants with professional counselling and
companies, and strategic export planning and
hands-on assistance in preparing and
network formation services for firms and groups
implementing an export strategy.
of commercial operators pursuing long-term
international business.
Austrade Export Hotline 13 28 78.
Austrade On-line: 
Market Access
Export Marketing Development 
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Grant Scheme
offers a range of trade, economic and socio-
economic statistics and publications that can be
The Export Marketing Development Grant
obtained as publications or as a specific request
Scheme provides $150 million worth of grants to
using its Market Information Service.
thousands of smaller Australian companies each
year to offset overseas marketing costs.  Firms
Services include advice on access to overseas
can apply for a grant if a minimum of $20,000 is
markets and international business networks;
spent on marketing overseas.  First-time
briefings and seminars on trade-related issues;
applicants to the fund can accumulate this
opportunities to meet and discuss trade and foreign
expenditure over two years.
policy issues with visiting heads of Australian
diplomatic missions overseas; and access and advice
The Grant Scheme strongly supports small
on the Department's research and publications.
companies, with more than 65 per cent of

A P P E N D I X   3
4 9
Specific requests to the Market Information
Supermarket to Asia
Service may be made by calling (02) 6261 3186.
The Government's Supermarket to Asia strategy
brings together government and industry leaders to
work on improving the competitiveness of
Trade Watch
Australia's fresh and processed food exports to Asia.
TradeWatch is a new interactive on-line
A key element is the food and fibre supply chain
information service for Australians doing
programme that is designed to build stronger and
business overseas.  The service focuses on
more co-operative relationships along the supply
market access issues in a progressively
chain from the producer to the consumer.  Typical
expanding range of our key markets.  It enables
projects will help Australian producers and
business to feed in directly market-specific
exporters achieve the critical mass, reliability,
concerns which will be factored into the
consistency and quality required by the
government's market access strategies.
international supermarket and food service chains.  
TradeWatch will respond to e-mail enquiries via
the new TradeWatch feedback system. 
Supermarket to Asia 1300 130 360 
Customs Information Centres
Customs Information Centres, located in each
BizAPEC .com, developed by the Department of
State or Territory capital city, provide
Foreign Affairs and Trade on behalf of the Asia
information on:
Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) member
economies, provides business with access to
• requirements applying to imported or
information to help identify and access markets
exported goods,
more easily and quickly. BizAPEC .com allows an
• duty concession or deferral opportunities
APEC exporter to explore business opportunities,
applying to certain imported goods and the
compare export markets, check tariff levels,
circumstances under which they are available;
customs and standards requirements, access
relevant laws and regulations, find business visa
• concessions available to returning
information and make contact with government
international travellers; and 
agencies and industry associations around the
• a range of community protection-
region, all through a single APEC web address.
related activities.
Contact BizAPEC at
Customer Information Centres: 1300 363 263
Regional Australia: Exporting to the World
This website
outlines the role of trade in individual regions
across Australia.  It showcases a range of local
exporters and identifies market access gains of
potential benefit to regional industries. This
information is also available in brochure form by
telephoning (02) 6261 2608.

5 0
A P P E N D I X   3
Importers are encouraged to obtain their plants
from overseas suppliers who have been accredited
by AQIS for disease screening. This reduces the
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection
time required for post-entry quarantine.
Service (AQIS) 
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
AQIS is charged with protecting Australia from
1800 020 504.
exotic pests and diseases while helping the
international movement of people and providing
Animal and plant health
export certification for agricultural produce and
Australia is free of many serious animal and
other commodities.
plant diseases.  Active surveillance is essential to
All plants, animals and associated products that
ensure that any outbreaks of disease are
are to be imported to Australia are subject to
detected quickly so that eradication action can
quarantine.  The Commonwealth resumed
be taken immediately.  State and Territory
responsibility for the direct delivery of
Governments have laws to prevent the spread of
quarantine services from New South Wales,
animal and plant pests and diseases into, and
Victoria, Queensland and South Australia in late
within, their jurisdictions.
1995, and the Australian Capital Territory in
Sightings of any unusual or serious signs of sick
early 1996.
or diseased animals should be reported to the
People intending to import animals, animal
Australian Animal Health Council's Disease Watch
products, plants or plant products should, in the
Hotline on 1800 675 888.  If plants are suspected
first instance, contact their AQIS area office for
of being affected by new pests or diseases, the
assistance.  A range of publications on
State or Territory department of agriculture
quarantine issues is available from all AQIS
should be called.
offices and the web site:
Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888
Australian Quarantine and
Inspection Service (AQIS)
AQIS provides inspection and certification
GPO Box 858
services to clients from a broad commercial and
private base, through programmes delivered
Phone: (02) 6272 3933 or
through locations across Australia and overseas.
Phone: 1800 020 504 (freecall)
Since 1991, it has been Government policy for
AQIS to fully recover its user-attributable costs
for all quarantine and inspection services.
Animal imports
Details of current AQIS charges can be obtained
All materials of animal origin, whether for food,
from the nearest AQIS area office in each State,
commercial or scientific use, are assessed for risk
from AQIS in Canberra or by phoning AQIS toll
of entry of disease. Where imports are allowed,
free on 1800 020 504.
detailed quarantine requirements must be met.
These requirements may involve some form of
Inspection - Rural produce
processing or other procedure.
Virtually all bulk agricultural produce exported
Plant imports
from Australia is inspected by AQIS.  This
includes meat, dairy products, seafood, grains,
All imported plants and plant products are
and fruit and vegetables.  The inspection ensures
subject to inspection on arrival and most
that export premises are up to standard, that
material destined for propagation is grown 
product description, labelling and
in quarantine. 
documentation are in accordance with
regulations, and that the requirements of

A P P E N D I X   3
5 1
importing countries and Australian statutory
Biosecurity Australia
marketing authorities are met.
Biosecurity Australia, a group within the
Inspection, health testing and certification of
Commonwealth Department of Agriculture,
exported animals, semen and embryos provide
Fisheries and Forestry - Australia was 
access to overseas markets for these commodities.
established in 2000 to take responsibility for:
Advice on export requirements is available from
assessing the quarantine risks associated with
AQIS or State agriculture departments.
commodity imports (ie import risk analyses
(IRAs) and to undertake technical negotiations on
Under a variety of quality management systems
export market access issues with overseas
approved by AQIS, exporters can take
counterpart agencies. 
responsibility for the quality of their product.
These systems also enable exporters to reduce
Previously the Australian Quarantine and
the direct involvement of AQIS personnel in
Inspection Service (AQIS) was responsible for IRAs.
export inspection.
Biosecurity Australia
Export Facilitation Programme
GPO Box 858 
The Export Facilitation Programme, in partnership
with industry and other service providers,
facilitates trade in agricultural and fishery
Phone: (02) 6272 4436 (animal)
commodities in accordance with Australian and
Fax: (02) 6272 3399 (animal)
importing country requirements.  Facilitators
Phone: (02) 6272 5094 (plant)
provide information on the following topics: other
Fax: (02) 6272 3307 (plant)
countries import conditions; legislative
requirements for export; quality assurance
arrangements; premises registration
requirements; inspection procedures; AQIS fees
Analytical testing of rural produce
and charges; and documentation - export permits
and health, phytosanitary and other certificates.
The Australian Government Analytical
Laboratories provide a wide range of testing
Inspection - phytosanitary certification
services to primary producers, the rural sector
and associated environmental areas.  The testing
Certain overseas countries require Australian
services include analysis of meat, fish, fruit,
phytosanitary certificates stating that produce is
vegetables, wine, honey, dairy products, eggs,
free of the pests determined to be a quarantine
grain, soil, water and sludge.  This may be for
concern of that country.  This can only be
nutritional labelling, compliance with Federal,
attested by AQIS inspectors/authorised officers
State, Territory or local government health,
inspecting a random predetermined amount of
environmental and agricultural regulations,
the consignments, and passing the consignment
and/or to meet export requirements.
free of pest and disease at the time of inspection.
The Laboratories' analyses, which are backed by
Inspection - Imported foods
the Australian Government, are of special
significance to goods bound for the overseas
All imported foods are liable to inspection and
market. as the Laboratories testing certificates
sampling, at varying rates, by AQIS.  All imported
are accepted by our trading partners.
foods must comply with the Australian Food
Australia Government Analytical Laboratories
Standards Code, which is available from Ausinfo.
services are available on a quoted or fee-for-
Analysis, where required, is carried out by
service (hourly) basis, or by negotiated contract
Australian Government Analytical Laboratories.
for continuous or bulk analysis requirements.
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
1800 020 504.

5 2
A P P E N D I X   3
Australian Government Analytical Laboratories 
Summaries are prepared for public comment before
Level 10, 20 Allara Street
the release of new chemicals intended for use in or
Canberra  ACT  2601
on food and/or fibre plants or animals.  A trial
Phone: (02) 6213 6075
permit from the National Registration Authority is
Phone: 1800 020 076 (freecall)
needed to test a chemical on plants or animals that
Fax: (02) 6213 6815
are destined for human consumption.
Australian National Residue Survey
National Registration Authority
GPO Box E240
The Australian National Residue Survey is a
Kingston  ACT  2601
programme conducted by Agriculture, Fisheries
Phone: (02) 6272 5158
and Forestry - Australia.  Its primary function 
Fax: (02) 6272 4753
is to monitor chemical residues and
Publications: (02) 6272 3794
environmental contaminants in the products 
of participating industries. 
Residue monitoring is an important part of an
overall strategy to minimise unwanted residues
and environmental contaminants in food.  
It serves to identify potential problems and
Agriculture - Advancing 
indicates where follow-up action is required.
Australia (AAA) package
Surveys for chemical residues are also 
important as a measure of overall product
The Government announced the Agriculture -
quality, particularly for exporting countries 
Advancing Australia (AAA) package in September
such as Australia.
1997 to reflect confidence in the capacity of
farmers to master change and in recognition
National Residue Survey
that government has a role in supporting
GPO Box 858
farmers to make the most of changing market
Canberra ACT 2601
conditions. The package is administered by the
Phone: (02) 6272 3446
Commonwealth Department of Agriculture,
(02) 6272 4023
Fisheries and Forestry – Australia.
AAA - FarmBis
National Registration Authority
There are two elements to FarmBis funding - the
The National Registration Authority for
ongoing FarmBis programme jointly funded by
Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals assesses
the Commonwealth and the States, and the new
and registers agricultural and veterinary
national component, AAA - FarmBis Australia.
chemicals.  The Authority works in partnership
with the States and Territories and with other
The Joint Commonwealth-State component of
Commonwealth agencies.
FarmBis provides funding to members of a farm
management team comprising principal
The States and Territories have responsibility for
operator, spouse, family members, partners and
the regulation of use, including surveillance,
staff employed in a management capacity.
managing and investigating field compliance. In
FarmBis assists these people to build on their
addition, the Australian Quarantine and
existing skills by providing direct financial
Inspection Service must approve any substance
contributions towards the cost of training
of biological origin-entering Australia, the
activities.  Activities supported include skills
Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee must
development, farm management planning,
approve any substance derived from or
business and financial planning, farm
containing genetically manipulated organisms,
performance benchmarking, quality assurance,
and the Working Party on Antibiotics of the
risk management, skills auditing, leadership
Department of Health and Aged Care must assess
development and marketing.
all new anti-microbials.

A P P E N D I X   3
5 3
From 1 July 2001, the Commonwealth-State
processes or products.  The Programme is being
component of FarmBis and the Property
administered by Agriculture, Fisheries and
Management Planning (PMP) Programme will be
Forestry - Australia (AFFA) as a pilot over the
integrated. This new amalgamated programme will
2000-02 financial years.  Applicants need to be
offer farmers more assistance and will be more
registered businesses in the farming, food,
accessible white continuing to make advances in
fishing and forestry industries and have an
business and land management training.  Until
annual turnover in the range of $50,000 to $3
then, FarmBis and PMP will continue to operate as
million in any of the preceding three years.
they currently do in each State.
They need to be willing to work with AFFA in
profiling their project throughout the rural
AAA - FarmBis Australia
sector.  Selected projects will be funded up to a
maximum of 50 per cent of the eligible project
The national component of FarmBis, AAA - FarmBis
costs, with no minimum or maximum funding
Australia, supports strategic national projects to
levels being set for this Programme.  Four
enhance the business management skills of
funding rounds are planned over the two
Australia's agricultural industries and associations.
financial years:
It focuses on the broad education, training and
skills development needs of industries rather than
Round 1 closed: 29 September 2000
individual business requirements.  Companies,
Round 2 closed: 28 February 2001
associations and groups committed to agricultural,
Round 3 closes: 29 June 2001
horticultural, pastoral. aquacultural, commercial
Round 4 closes: 31 October 2001
fishing and apiculture industries are invited to
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia
apply for grants.
GPO Box 858
AAA - Women in rural industries
Phone: (02) 6272 3933
Special emphasis under AAA - FarmBis Australia
is given to training projects for women in rural
Phone: (02) 6272 4622
industries which offer benefits in more than one
State.  AAA-FarmBis Australia funding also
AAA - Rural Partnership Programme
includes a grants programme for rural women's
The Rural Partnership Programme provides rural
national non-government organisations in their
communities with the opportunity to address
leadership roles in supporting women's
economic development, structural adjustment,
contributions to rural industries.
natural resource management and social issues
in their region through the development and
AAA - Young people in rural industries
implementation of co-operative strategies.
AAA - FarmBis Australia will also give emphasis
The Programme is currently providing funds for
to projects that benefit young people committed
twelve strategies developed in consultation with
to achieving more for their industry
rural communities and with the Commonwealth
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia
Government and State Governments.  These are
AAA - FarmBis Australia
in the following regions: Atherton Tablelands
Rural Support and Adjustment
(Qld); Desert Uplands (Qld); South West
Phone: 1800 686 175
Queensland; WEST 2000 (NSW); Sunraysia (NSW &
Vic); Loddon-Murray (Vic); Alpine Valleys (Vic);
Riverland (SA); Eyre Peninsula (SA); Gascoyne-
Murchison (WA); South Coast (WA) and the
AAA - Farm Innovation Programme
Murrumbidgee irrigation Area (NSW).
The Farm Innovation Programme provides grants
Commonwealth Government Information Service:
to eligible farming, food, fishing and forestry
1800 026 222.
businesses to adopt innovative practices,

5 4
A P P E N D I X   3
AAA - Farm Growth through Export Growth –
AAA- Farm Help - Supporting Families
Bilateral Cooperation Agreements
through Change
This initiative is aimed at further developing
Farm Help is a Commonwealth program for
markets and facilitating bilateral trade and
delivering improved welfare support and advice
investment opportunities for the agriculture and
to the farm sector, as well as providing
food sectors. Through enhancing and developing
assistance to farmers who wish to exit the
existing and new bilateral cooperation
industry. Farm Help extends and enhances the
arrangements with key trading partners, the Govern-
successful Farm Family Restart Scheme which
ment aims to facilitate the reduction of regulatory,
commenced in December 1997. Farm Help is
technical and economic impediments to our farm
delivered by Centrelink on behalf of Agriculture,
and food exports. Such impediments are not
Fisheries and Forestry - Australia.
normally addressed in trade negotiations but are
essential to realise the full potential of trade
Application forms from any Centrelink Office.
liberalisation and require government to govern-
Centrelink Call Centre: 13 2850
ment cooperation in partnership with industry. 
A number of trading partners see follow up
support and bilateral cooperation as an integral
part of export sales. The bilateral cooperation
New Industries Development Program (NIDP)
agreements, implemented in close liaison and
partnership with agricultural and food industry
The NIDP seeks to address the impediments and
participants (including producers, processors and
barriers to the development of successful new
exporters) as well as interested State/Territory
industries and products, through initiatives that:
governments, provide opportunities for industry to
• Improve access of SMEs in Australian
enhance networks both at government and
agribusiness to 'quality' information on new
industry levels, to develop markets and to address
product development opportunities.
impediments through activities such as joint
ventures and collaborative training and research. 
• Promote understanding of the need for and
improve access to commercial skills,
Commonwealth Government Information Service:
experience and in-market contacts.
1800 026 222.
• Facilitate a change in the culture and
structures within the sector to promote
cooperation across state and regional
boundaries along the potential supply chains
AAA - Farm Management Deposit
for new products and services. 
The Farm Management Deposit scheme provides
• Build investor confidence in Australia's ability
farmers with an effective tax linked savings
to develop new high value products and
mechanism to allow them to set aside pre-tax income
improve the use of risk management
from the good years to help them better manage
strategies by SMEs involved in new ventures. 
their businesses during the more difficult years. 
New Industries Development Program
Farm Management Deposit Scheme
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia 
Rural Industries Operating Environment
GPO Box 858
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry - Australia
Phone: (02) 6272 3111 
GPO Box 858
Fax: (02) 6272 3025
Canberra ACT 2601 
Freecall: 1800 686 175

A P P E N D I X   3
5 5
Exceptional circumstances 
areas including agriculture, minerals and energy,
manufacturing, construction, communications,
Exceptional Circumstances (EC) assistance is
and the environment.
designed to provide short term targeted support
to assist long term viable farm businesses to
In order to help people access the wealth of
cope with the adverse impacts of exceptional
information services and resources, a national
events, including drought.
telephone inquiry centre has been established 
in Melbourne. 
State and Territory Governments are required to
assess the merits of each case for Exceptional
CSIRO Inquiries 1300 363 400.
Circumstances before they submit an application
to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and
Government will however, also accept EC
Resources (ABARE)
applications from peak industry bodies.
ABARE is an independent economic research
Exceptional Circumstances assistance is provided
agency.  It provides information about the
by way of interest rate subsidies and/or the
economics of the agricultural, forestry, fishing,
Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment (ECRP).
minerals and energy industries. Every year,
Interest rate subsidies provide business support
ABARE holds the OUTLOOK Conference, the
and the ECRP provides farm families with income
leading forum for discussing Australia's rural and
support and special access to Health Care Cards,
resource industries.
Family Payments, Youth Allowance and AUSTUDY.
ABARE publishes a range of re search reports 
Commonwealth Government Information Service:
as well as regular reports such as Australian
1800 026 222.
Commodities. A free catalogue of ABARE
publications is available from the
publications officer.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural 
and Resource Economics (ABARE)
GPO Box 1563
Australian Research Council (ARC)
Phone: (02) 6272 2000 or
Phone: 1800 244 129 (freecall)
The ARC is the main funding agency in Australia
(02) 6272 2001
for basic research. It supports research in
(02) 6272 2211
essentially all fields from science, engineering
and new technologies through to social sciences,
humanities and the creative arts.
Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS)
Australian Research Council
BRS is an independent scientific bureau within
GPO Box 9880 
the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry - Australia.  It provides
Phone: (02) 6284 6605
scientific advice to government in the support 
Fax: (02) 6284 6601
of more profitable, competitive and sustainable
Australian agricultural, food, fisheries and 
forest industries. 
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Bureau of Rural Sciences
Research Organisation (CSIRO)
GPO Box E11
The CSIRO is Australia’s largest, and one of the
Phone: (02) 6272 4690
world's most diverse, scientific organisations. It
Publications: (02) 6272 4430
conducts strategic research in a wide range of

5 6
A P P E N D I X   3
The Fisheries Research & Development
• the Tax Reform Information Line for Business:
Corporation (FRDC)
13 24 78 
The FRDC is a national organisation responsible
• the Tax Reform Information Line for the
for planning, funding and managing fisheries
General Public: 13 61 40 
and aquaculture research and development
• the ATO Small Business Information Line: 
The FRDC funds R&D as a result of an annual
• 13 28 66 the Australian Competition and
public invitation to apply and by initiating
Consumer Commission: 1300 302 502
specific R&D projects. 
Written advice is available from GST Technical
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
PO Box 222
by e-mail: 
Deakin West  ACT  2600
by fax: 1300 139 031 
Phone: (02) 6285 0400
by mail: PO Box 9935 in your capital city
For Field Advisor visits, telephone: 13 24 78.
Useful web sites include:
The Rural Industries Research and
• ACCC web site:
Development Corporation (RIRDC) 
• ATO web site:
RIRDC is a national organisation responsible for
planning, funding and managing rural industry
• Family Assistance Office:
research and development programs.
Project applications for research support are
• GST web site:
invited through advertisements in major
newspapers in August each year. Post-graduate
• Review of Business Taxation:
scholarships are advertised around September.
The Rural Industries Research 
• Forms and Publications ordering:
and Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
• Start up assistance:
Kingston  ACT  2604
Phone: General (02) 6272 4539
• New start up assistance web site:
• Online ABN registration:
Off-road Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme
Taxation Office (ATO)
The Commonwealth Government collects an
National Office
excise duty on diesel fuel that is produced in
GPO Box 900
Australia and a customs duty on imported 
Civic Square ACT 2608
diesel fuel.
Phone: (02) 6216 1111
(02) 6216 2830
The off-road Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme provides
a rebate of the customs or excise duty paid on
diesel and ‘like’ fuels used in defined off-road
Telephone advice is available from:
activities within certain categories of use such as
agriculture, fishing and forestry.  A general guide
• the General Inquiry Helpline for Individuals:
to eligible activities is included in the Diesel
13 28 61 
Fuel Rebate: Guide for Claimants.

A P P E N D I X   3
5 7
The off-road rebate applies to fuel purchased
Primary Production Industry Partnership
until 30 June 2002.
The Primary Production Industry Partnership is a
At the moment, rebate rates vary between
collaborative partnership between the Australian
eligible categories.  Averaging provisions will
Taxation Office and the following associations:
mean that by 1 January 2001, all categories will
Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry - Australia
receive the highest rebate rate, currently
(AFFA); Australian Seafood Industry Council
received by primary production, marine
(ASIC); National Association of Forest Industries
transport and rail transport categories.
(NAFI); and National Farmers Federation (NFF).
The rebate rates for each category are available
The Primary Production Industry Partnership was
on the ATO Internet site at and
established as a process of clarifying GST and
are updated monthly.
related New Tax System issues that are identified
by the Primary Producer Sector as having
To register and claim for the off-road rebate, you
significant impact on their sector.
need to complete and Lodge a registration and
initial application form.  You can obtain this
Through this process a range of specific
form by ringing the:
questions have been and continue to be
identified by the sector which required
Diesel Fuel Information Line: 1300 657 1 62.  
clarification.  The questions and answers have
been disseminated via newsletters and are
published on the Australian 
On-road Diesel and Alternative 
Fuels Grants Scheme
Taxation Office web site:
The on-road Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants
Scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000.
Significant GST issues discussed by the Primary
The Scheme provides a grant for the use of
Production Industry Partnership include
diesel and alternative fuels in certain on-road
Livestock sales, sate of farmland, cane
transport activities and benefits regional and
production assignment, Del Credere Agency
rural Australians in particular.  With input tax
arrangements, and model tax invoices.
credits, the grant reduces the cost of diesel by
around 24 cents per litre.
If you have a question you think has an
industry-wide application please contact one of
The on-road scheme applies to fuel used from 1
the associations listed above. Whether the
July 2000 to 30 June 2002.
question should be addressed by the Industry
Generally, the grant is available to businesses
Partnership can then be discussed.
and other entities for the on-road use of diesel
and alternative fuels in vehicles that have a
gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4.5 tonnes or more
and which are registered for use on public roads.
Detailed information on eligibility requirements
is included in the Diesel and alternative Fuels
Grants Scheme: Information for Claimants
booklet, available by calling the Diesel Fuel
Information Line.
Diesel Fuel Information Line: 1300 657 162