A better and fairer deal for boaties and recreational fishers

Our state’s waterways are weekend playgrounds for millions of Victorians.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will create a Blue Infrastructure Fund that will provide first-class infrastructure and services for recreational water users like more boat ramps, jetties, 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.

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

“The Blue Infrastructure Fund will invest in infrastructure that will improve access, enjoyment and protection of Victoria’s inland and coastal waterways,” Nationals Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp,  said.

“Thousands of people in our electorate love recreational boating and fishing and as well as being great fun for the whole family, these activities are important contributors to local economies too.

“The Liberals Nationals in government will deliver a fair go for boaties and recreational fishers by making sure their license and other fees are spent on upgrading and building the things they want like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks.

“This investment will be right across our state – from our bays and coastal communities to our inland lakes and waterways – and it’s going to be great for boaties and recreational fishers, 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. The $3.23 million spent by Labor compares to investment in New South Wales of $17 million and in Queensland of $15 million annually.

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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