In a major victory for fishers and boaters around the state, two landmark pieces of legislation have passed in the Legislative Council, delivering on election commitments to establish a dedicated fund for boating and make sure people can access more camping spaces.
New laws to allow camping on riverfront Crown Land have passed the Upper House, as has legislation to create the Better Boating Fund, which will re-invest every dollar of boating registration and licencing fees back into recreational boating.
The Better Boating Fund acquits another 2018 election commitment and will see more investment to make sure boat ramps are maintained properly, education programs are funded, and more promotion is done to increase participation.
Each year the details of the amount collected from marine licencing and registration fees will be reported to Parliament, as will a breakdown of which recreational boating projects were funded and for how much.
Work on the Fund is already underway, with a passionate and experienced panel of boaters and industry leaders being sought for a roundtable to determine what the funding priorities are for recreational boaters.
Changes to allow for better access to Crown Land was also a commitment the Government took to the 2018 election so that families, fishers and bushwalkers can camp on Crown Land river frontage.
The new rules provide a fantastic opportunity for people to responsibly enjoy more of Victoria’s beautiful waterways, with camping added to the list of permitted activities on Crown Land alongside things like picnicking, fishing and bushwalking.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority will install gates and signage to Crown land entry points to help people safely access those areas.
Rules to help regulate usage will be developed through a thorough consultation process with licence holders, farmers and communities, to protect the environment while enabling camping and fishing. Fisheries Officers will continue to strongly enforce regulations relating to litter and other inappropriate activities.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“These are groundbreaking changes which will make casting a line and getting on the water much more enjoyable for people who love the outdoors.”
“We’ve listened to the community and established the Better Boating Fund so that 100 per cent of boating registration and licencing fees go back into recreational boating – which will enable more money to be spent on key infrastructure like boat ramps.”
“The changes will enable more Victorians to do what they love doing and enjoy the best of what Victoria has to offer.”
Reviewed 12 November 2020