Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 9
1 DECEMBER 2010 - TORQUAY ANGLING CLUB, THE ESPLANADE, TORQUAY VIC.
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the ninth meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group.
Key issues discussed in the meeting included:
- 2009/10 Recreational Fishing Grants Program (RFGP) – Commissioning Program – Recovering waters fish stocking program
- Progress on projects previously approved to receive RFL Trust Account funding
- Recreational Fishing Grants Program Governance Review
- Forward commitment of RFL Trust Account revenue to fund Recreational Fishing Grants Program Projects
- The year in Review (achievements)
- Fishcare Victoria
- Small Recreational Fishing Grants Program
2009/10 Recreational Fishing Grants Program (RFGP) – Commissioning Program – Recovering waters fish stocking program
DPI provided a presentation on Component A of the 'Recovering waters fish stocking program' project.
The aim of the project is to restore Victoria's recreational fisheries in previously drought-affected lakes and impoundments by stocking 107,500 yearling trout, 159,000 trout fingerlings (~5 gram) and 55,000 native fish (Murray cod and golden perch fry) as soon as possible.
The Working Group congratulated Fisheries Victoria for quickly implementing Component A; in particular, the release of 107,500 yearling fish into recovering waters over the past three weeks.
The Working Group noted that Fisheries Victoria is on-track to stock 55,000 native fish (Murray cod and golden perch fry) from February 2011 into at least four lakes and impoundments in central Victoria.
DPI also presented Component B of the recovering waters fish stocking program seeking to upgrade fish production facilities at Snobs Creek (and the production and purchase of trout and native fish respectively).
The Working Group supported the disbursement of up to $218,360 of Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) Trust Account revenue over two years to implement Component B of the project.
Progress on projects previously approved to receive RFL T/A funding
Since the commencement of the RFGP in 2001/02, RFL revenue has funded over 340 projects worth more than $12.5 million across Victoria to improve recreational fishing opportunities.
The Working Group received an update on the progress of previously funded RFGP projects that are yet to be completed. Currently there are 85 projects in progress, including 21 Large, 3 Commission and 31 Small projects announced through the 2009/10 round of the RFGP, 8 small events and 22 RFGP projects from prior years.
The Working Group noted the status of 85 projects that are currently in progress and the expected completion dates.
Recreational Fishing Grants Program Governance Review
DPI instigated a governance audit of the RFGP to ensure that it has sound arrangements in place for managing the expenditure of licence funds. The audit was completed in December 2009. DPI commissioned a supplementary review and a draft report has been provided to DPI.
The Working Group noted the preliminary findings of the review.
Forward commitment of RFL Trust Account revenue to fund RFGP Projects
At RFGWG meeting #8, the Working Group supported a proposal to forward commit RFL Trust Account revenue to the RFGP.
The Working Group noted that Fisheries Victoria will provide further advice regarding the 'business rules' that would apply to this arrangement at RFGWG meeting #10.
The Year in Review (achievements)
The Working Group reflected upon a number of achievements during the first year of its operation including:
- Assessing 2008/09 Recreational Fishing Grants Program applications using previous criteria;
- Establishing the new three-tiered Recreational Fishing Grants Program (Small, Large and Commissioning Programs);
- Determining the eligibility and assessment criteria and amount of funding to be allocated to the Small Grants, Large Grants and the Commissioning tier;
- Assessing 2009/10 Recreational Fishing Grants Program applications (Large & Commissioning);
- Providing written feedback to successful and unsuccessful grant applicants of the Recreational Fishing Grants Program, including constructive guidance for any future applications;
- Launching the 2010/11 Recreational Fishing Grants Program; and
- The distribution of promotional material highlighting current and previously completed projects to improve recreational fishing opportunities in Victoria.
Fishcare Victoria Inc.
Fishcare Victoria Inc. is a community-based non government organisation which promotes responsible and sustainable attitudes and practices amongst recreational anglers and the wider community.
DPI provided an overview on the operation of Fishcare and the funding arrangements between DPI and Fishcare.
Small Recreational Fishing Grants Program
The Small Grants Program was launched on 29 March 2010. The Minister approved a disbursement of up to $220,000 (GST inclusive) to fund projects that improve public recreational fishing in Victoria.
DPI provided an update on the program and advised the Working Group that 44 projects had been approved for funding under the program thus far.
The Working Group noted the progress of the Small Grants Program and considered a further application for funding.
Next meeting: 11 – 15 April 2011 – Date to be advised.
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group