Sport and Recreation | April 15, 2019

Labor’s price hikes have less, not more, Victorians fishing

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy says reports recently released by the Victorian Fisheries Authority show the Andrews Government’s Target One Million program just isn’t working.

The figures show a 12 per cent drop in recreational fishing licence (RFL) sales in Victoria, with 294,051 licences issued in 2015/16 compared to 258,531 in 2017/18.

“Instead of moving towards one million people fishing by 2020, the number of recreational fishers in Victoria has sunk by 35,520 since Target One Million was launched in 2015,” Ms Kealy said.

“It is no coincidence that this drop follows an up to 66 per cent hike in licence fees by the Andrews Labor Government.”

The Andrews Government is in denial with Fishing and Boating Minister Jaala Pulford claiming the RFL figures are “not an accurate reflection of fishing participation”.

“Labor is wading around for excuses when it should be providing recreational fishers with an explanation on why it’s failing to deliver, despite spending $46 million,” Ms Kealy said.

“Recreational fishing is a real driver of economic activity in rural and regional communities and should definitely be encouraged.

“Recreational fishing and boating makes a huge contribution to our local economy, bringing people into the community to try their luck at popular local waterways including Toolondo, Rocklands and Lake Bellfield Reservoirs.

“Many locals regularly head out to our amazing lakes and rivers for a weekend with the family or friends, but it also brings many visitors to our region who spend money at local bait and tackle shops, fishing and boating stores and other local businesses.

“Recreational fishing provides so much both socially and economically for communities in regional Victoria, but under Labor less Victorians are taking part due to Labor’s Fishing licence price hikes.”

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