Australia’s five million recreational fishers are out in their tinnies, off beaches, rocks and on rivers and lakes every weekend.
They are one of the largest groups affected by the decisions governments make about our fisheries management and waterways.
That’s why a Labor Shorten Government will establish a National Recreational Fishing Council to ensure their views are heard in national policy-making.
Labor will provide $110,000 to establish the Council, which will meet twice a year with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The Council will tackle issues like small pelagic fisheries management, boating and fishing infrastructure, conservation, access to national marine parks, national Gone Fishing Day and other issues of concern to recreational fishers.
It will allow the Federal Government to fish for their views and trawl for new ideas about how to better manage Australia’s precious natural resources.
Labor will cast a wide net in appointing members to the Council, but it will include representatives of peak bodies like the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, Australian National Sportfishing Association and representatives from other key portfolios such as Environment, Tourism and Infrastructure.
We recognise the contribution Australia’s recreational fishers make to regional economies and local jobs. In NSW alone, recreational fishers spend $1.6 billion a year on travel and equipment.
In contrast, the Abbott-Turnbull Government have failed to so much as get their feet wet in engaging with recreational fishers, and have essentially ignored the fisheries sector for the past three years.
Labor’s National Recreational Fishing Council will ensure recreational fishers are on board when important decisions are made about our environment and marine resources.
SATURDAY, 18 JUNE 2016