The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its commitments to better boating facilities and massive boosts to recreational fishing for thousands of Victorians thanks to an $82.2 million investment.
As part of the Victorian Budget 2019/20, the Government is investing $35 million into Target One Million Phase Two, to get more people fishing, more often and make recreational fishing even better for die-hards, beginners and families casting a line.
Boaters will have more opportunities to get out on the water, with the Government investing $39.6 million in priority upgrades and maintenance to boat ramps across the state, giving thousands of Victorians and tourists a year safer and better infrastructure to launch their boats.
The Better Boating Fund will also be established to collect funds from boat registration and marine licensing fees and use them exclusively for boat facility and safety initiatives.
The Government will review infrastructure management in Port Phillip and Western Port Bays and invest $7.6 million to abolish boat ramp parking and launching fees, aiming to have them removed by the time people are putting their boats into the water in spring.
Gippsland Lakes will be given back to recreational fishing, and anglers can look forward to a new $7 million state of the art native fish hatchery near Shepparton, better facilities around Corio Bay including more fishing platforms, and new fish cleaning tables at boat ramps throughout Port Philip Bay.
Port Phillip Bay will benefit from $2.5 million for improving fish habitats, including reef development, which will increase catch rates of iconic species like snapper and provide hot-spots for family boaters.
Freshwater fish stocking will lead the nation with the ambitious target of releasing 10 million fish per year by 2022, including trout and native fish like Murray cod, golden perch and Australian bass and inland fishers will have more places to fish with with the Government opening access to boats and kayaks on several reservoirs.
Free public fishing events will introduce new generations of youngsters to recreational fishing and encourage disadvantaged youth and people living with a disability to take up a new hobby and learn about the basics of sustainable fishing.
The Government’s significant investment in boating and fishing will provide a boost for jobs and regional tourism, which depend on travelling fishers and boaters visiting Victoria’s inland and coastal waterways all year round.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford
“We’re delivering better fishing and boating all year round – boosting regional tourism, creating new jobs, and helping families from all walks of life enjoy Victoria’s great outdoors.”
“Whether you boat or fish on the coast, on our stunning bays or inlets or in our freshwater lakes and rivers – we’re delivering for all Victorians.”