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Cronulla Fisheries Decentralisation to Proceed

19 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - The NSW Government will support or partially support ten of the 13 recommendations in the Select Committee’s report into the closure of the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre, but will continue with the decentralisation of the Centre, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said.

In a win for the local community, the site will remain in public ownership and there will be increased access so that cultural and historical values can be appreciated.

“As part of our policy for a Decade of Decentralisation, the NSW Government is committed to boosting employment, economic and social benefits to regional and rural NSW,” Mr Stoner said.

“The decision to decentralise NSW Fisheries Services is an important part of this commitment and has resulted in the creation of up to:

  • 32 jobs in Nowra;
  • 23 jobs in Port Stephens;
  • 21 jobs in Coffs Harbour; and
  • 5 jobs in Wollongong.

“Ten of the 20 scientist positions currently located at Cronulla are expected to relocate,” Mr Stoner said.

Ms Hodgkinson confirmed the Government will not reverse the decision to close the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre.

“This is about sharing the economic benefits with our regional communities and the NSW Government cannot accept the recommendation to reverse the closure of the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The relocation project, including transferring employees, equipment and establishing new office, laboratories and storage facilities began 13 months ago and is now 80 per cent complete.

Ms Hodgkinson said the NSW Government appreciated the work done by the Select Committee and would fully support some of its key recommendations.

“The Cronulla Fisheries site is important to the community in Southern Sydney and that is why we are making a commitment to keep it in public hands,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“We are accepting another key recommendation by establishing a Fisheries Site Management Trust to manage and preserve the site for the community.

“On top of this, we have cleared the way for the extension of the walkway to link the Cronulla foreshore and will seek to work with the local Council to make this a reality.

“At the end of the day, decentralisation requires strong leadership from Government and that is what we were elected to do,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

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