Digital Processes Amendments to the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995

​Submissions on the draft amendments have now closed​

​Further detail on the proposed changes and their effects can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (Digital Processes Bill), and in the fact sheet below:

  Fact Sheet - LMRMA amendments   (251Kb)​

The proposed Living Marine Miscellaneous Amendments (Digital Processes) Bill 2020 will amend the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 (the LMRMA) to enable digital fisheries licensing and reporting.

The amendments are an important step in achieving digital transition under the Fisheries Digital Transition Project (FDTP). 

Digital transition includes digital fisheries licensing and electronic catch and effort reporting. The amendments will enable digital transition without substantially changing the regulatory regime in the LMRMA and its subordinate legislation, which will be the subject of a broader review of the Act announced in the 2020-20​21 budget.​

Key changes to the Act

The draft Living Marine Miscellaneous Amendments (Digital Processes) Bill 2020:

  • Restructures general provisions relating to licences to enable automated licensing by a two-stage process: Stage 1 where eligibility to hold a fishing licence (including the ‘fit and proper person’ test) is determined by human-based decision making; and Stage 2 where decisions on applications for licences, variations, and transfers are able to be made by a computer program.

  • Ensures that existing licence holders and recreational fishers are deemed to be eligible to hold a fishing licence, without having to re-apply.

  • Enables the approval of a computer program to be used to make electronic decisions on the grant, renewal, or variation of a licence, and the transfer of a licence, quota, or other entitlement under the licence to another eligible person.

  • Empowers the Secretary of the Department to override an electronic decision if the approved computer program was not functioning correctly when it made an electronic decision, including if the computer program made a decision that the Secretary would not have made.

  • Provides clearer roles for licensing agents appointed by holders of authorisations and holders of abalone quota under deed.

  • Devolves responsibility for approving or granting a broad range of applications from the Minister to the Secretary of the Department, and enables the Secretary of the Department to cancel or suspend a licence in specific circumstances.

  • Enables catch and effort reporting via an approved electronic recording system or via current paper-based logbooks.

  • Ensures that fisheries officers have suitable and appropriate powers in relation to electronic documents and devices used for the purposes of the Act and management plans.

  • Combines the register of demerit points and the register of authorisations into one electronic register and ensures that eligible persons may access their own data in the register.

  • Repeals the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA) provisions that reference the outdated GDA94.

  • Provides for electronic service and provision of documents, electronic signatures, and consequential amendments to the Fishing (Licence Ownership and Interest) Registration Act 2001 to allow for electronic records of original entry.

How to make a submission

Submissions on the draft amendments closed on 18 December 2020.

The Department did not receive any public submissions on the draft amendments.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

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