The Nationals Gippsland South Boating fisheries Fishing Policy Election boating infrastructure Blue infrastructure fund

A better and fairer deal for Gippsland’s boaties

One hundred per cent of boating fees will be re-invested back in to recreational fishing and boating infrastructure under a Liberal Nationals Government.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said The Nationals in government will create a Blue Infrastructure Fund that will provide first-class infrastructure and services for recreational water users like more boat ramps, jetties and navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks and cleaning tables.

“At the moment, Victorian boat users pay significant fees to the State Government every year but only a portion of that money is invested back into better infrastructure and services for water users,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Under a Liberal Nationals Government, the Blue Infrastructure Fund will return all proceeds of collected boating fees into better facilities for the boating community.

“We will invest in infrastructure that will improve access, enjoyment and protection of Victoria’s inland and coastal waterways, including throughout Gippsland.

“Recreational boating and fishing is not only great fun for the whole family, but these activities are important contributors to the Gippsland economy too.

“Over the past few years I’ve had to deal with problems affecting boaties in Loch Sport, Shallow Inlet, Corner Inlet, Waratah Bay and at Marlay Point.  Some of these have been technical issues but others just require additional investment. 

“The Nationals in government will deliver a better deal for boaties and recreational fishers by making sure their license and other fees are spent on upgrading and building the things they want.

“It’s going to be great for boaties and rec fishers in Gippsland South as well as the businesses that support these activities like bait and tackle stores, charter operators and even accommodation providers and petrol stations.”

Boat owners raise significant revenue for the Victorian Government through boat licensing and other charges. In 2016/17 the Andrews Labor Government returned just 11.6 per cent of the $27.7 million annual boating revenue on boating infrastructure.

Recreational boating is estimated to contribute $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year. This is underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants annually and 17,700 full-time jobs.

In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for over 30,000 full-time jobs.

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The Nationals Member for Danny O’Brien confirmed a Liberal Nationals Government will ensure 100% of boating fees are spent on boating and recreational fishing infrastructure.

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