Environment and Water | September 11, 2018

Kealy - A better deal for recreational water users

All boating fee proceeds will be allocated to improving facilities for the boating community under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the announcement was great news for boaters and recreational water users across western Victoria.

“At the moment, Victorian boat users pay significant fees to the state government every year but only a small portion of that money is invested back into boating infrastructure and services,” Ms Kealy said.

“In 2016-17 the Andrews Labor Government returned just 11.6 per cent or $3.23 million of the $27.7 million annual boating revenue in boating infrastructure. This compares to investment in NSW of $17 million and Queensland of $15 million annually.

“The Liberal Nationals will put all revenue proceeds back into improving facilities for the boating community.

“Thousands of people in western Victoria love recreational boating and fishing and as well as being great fun for the whole family, these activities are important contributors to our local economy too.

“The Liberals Nationals in government will deliver a better deal for boaties and recreational fishers by making sure their licence and other fees are spent on upgrading and building the things they want like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting and onshore facilities such as bigger car parks.

“This investment is going to be great for boaties and rec fishers in western Victoria and the businesses that support these activities like bait and tackle stores, charter operators and even accommodation providers and petrol stations.”

It is estimated that recreational boating contributes $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants and 17,700 full-time jobs.

In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for over 30,000 full-time jobs.

VRFish, the peak body representing Victorian recreational fishers welcomed the announcement, saying it would revolutionise the State’s failing boating infrastructure.

“We are delighted that the Liberal Nationals have listened to our concerns and adopted this highly improved new policy,” VRFish Chairman Rob Loats said.

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