A Shorten Labor Government will ramp up support for the recreational fishing industry with a $55.5 million investment to renew ageing infrastructure, replenish native fish stocks in our rivers and create the first ever Prime Ministerial Roundtable on Recreational Fishing.
Around 3.4 million Australians engage in recreational fishing each year, directly contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy and supporting around 90,000 Australian jobs.
Labor will provide a $45 million boost to improve recreational fishing infrastructure all across Australia. This new investment builds on our previously announced $10 million commitment.
We will focus on upgrading existing and building new boat ramps, pontoons and jetties to help improve safety and amenity for people launching their vessels.
Many existing boat ramps are in bad need of an upgrade they are often single lane, resulting in long queues and often dangerous competition for spots on the launches.
Labor will invest $10 million into native fish breeding and stocking across Australia, replenishing 10 million native fish a year into Australias rivers.
We will work closely with similar state programs and in consultation with recreational fishing groups to determine which species and breeds should be priorities.
A further $500,000 grant will be provided to the Give Back to Habitat campaign to support on the ground efforts to protect and restore fish habitats. Recreational fishers are some of Australias most committed conservationists, and Labor wants to offer practical help.
In addition to this funding, a Shorten Labor Government will establish the first Prime Ministerial Roundtable on Recreational Fishing.
Industry leaders and recreational fishing groups will be invited to meet annually and discuss issues with the prime minister, and minister responsible for fisheries.
The annual roundtable will be held in regional Australia for example North West Tasmania, the North Coast of New South Wales, or Central or North Queensland: areas in Australia where recreational fishing is a major pastime. For the first time, recreational fishing groups will be able to take issues directly to the prime minister.
A Shorten Labor Government will also:
- Ensure the small pelagic fishery is protected from large-capacity factory freezer trawlers, preventing the use of super trawlers
- Continue to support the national Recreational Fishing Council and give our recreational fishers a seat at the decision-making table
This election is a choice between Labors plan to invest in communities around Australia, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.
After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.