Scot MacDonald
7th Jun 2018

The Commercial Fishermens Co-operative in Newcastle will benefit from a NSW Liberal National Government plan to extend their rent relief arrangements with a 50 per cent waiver available until 30 June 2020.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said the program would mean the small business could reinvest its savings into business boosting activities.

“Our local Co-op plays an important role in tourism, supporting the fishing industry and providing fresh fish to the local community,” Mr MacDonald said.

“This will benefit the Co-operative and the membership and I am grateful for the support extended to us. This is important to our Hunter fishermen,” Director Robert Gauta said.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the rent relief would help co-ops continue to adjust to changes in commercial fishing.

“The NSW Small Business Commissioner reviewed fishing co-operatives on Crown land and recommended the continued rent exemption.  It will be conditional on co-ops working closely with the Commissioner to ensure they are putting best business practices in place for the future,” Mr Blair said.

“This is a time of significant change for the industry. We realise co-ops will need to adjust their business models and their daily operations, so rent relief is one way we can give them some space to do that.

“We have also extended the Rural Assistance Authority $30,000 grant on offer to help co-ops obtain independent specialist advice until 30 September 2018.

Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the NSW Small Business Commissioner and the NSW Government would continue providing support to co-ops.

“These businesses will have the tools they need for continued success as they work with business advisors and develop plans on how they can grow,” Mr Toole said.

“By working with the co-operatives to establish strong business processes, as well as providing rent relief, we can alleviate some of the pressures of doing business.”

Rent relief for co-operatives on Crown land is just one of the assistance measures on offer to the fishing industry during the reforms.