Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 6
21 JUNE 2010 - FISHERIES RESEARCH BRANCH, 2A BELLARINE HWY, QUEENSCLIFF VIC. 3225.
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the sixth meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group, established in September 2009. Key issues discussed in the meeting included:
- Tours of DPI's Marine Discovery Centre and Fisheries Research Branch
- DPI Presentation – Angler Diary Program
- Progress on Projects Previously Approved to Receive RFL T/A funding
- Assessment of 2009/10 RFGP Small Grant Applications
- Assessment of 2009/10 RFGP Large Grant Applications
- Draft Communications Plan for the Recreational Fishing Grants Program 2009/10
- RFGP Funding Agreement
Tours of DPI's Marine Discovery Centre and Fisheries Research Branch
The Working Group enjoyed a tour of DPI's Marine Discovery Centre and discovered that DPI provides education and eco-tourism services through the Marine Discovery Centre in Queenscliff. The centre provides a unique location to learn about the plants and animals that inhabit our coastal and marine environment.
A tour of DPI's Fisheries Research Centre followed and the Working Group learnt about the practice of studying fish such as the type of food required, water temperatures necessary, breeding practices and characteristics of different species.
DPI Presentation – Angler Diary Program
Simon Conron, Science Officer, Fisheries Research Branch, provided a presentation on the role of 'angler diary programs' in providing evidence-based information on fish stocks and fisheries for management purposes.
The Working Group noted the purpose of the angler diary program as a useful tool for management purposes.
Progress on Projects Previously Approved to Receive RFL T/A funding
Since the commencement of the RFGP in 2001/02, RFL revenue has funded more than 295 projects across the State of 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 54 projects in progress, including 18 small events, 13 projects announced through the 2008/09 round of the RFGP, eight 2009/10 Small Grant projects and 15 RFGP projects from prior years.
The Working Group noted the status of 54 projects that are currently in progress and expected completion dates.
Assessment of 2009/10 RFGP Small Grant Applications
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 thirteen 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 two applications for funding.
Assessment of 2009/10 RFGP Large Grant Applications
The primary role of the Working Group is to provide advice to the Minister Responsible for Fisheries on expenditure of all Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) revenue. The Working Group discussed the 2010/11 RFGP large grant applications received and the grant assessment criteria. Eligible grant applications were assessed, scored and ranked.
The Working Group provided their qualified support for a number of projects and requested further information from seven applicants for further consideration at its next meeting.
Draft Communications Plan for the Recreational Fishing Grants Program 2009/10
DPI provided advice to the Working Group as to the purpose of the annual communications plan for the Recreational Fishing Grants Program (RFGP). The 2010/11 plan aims to raise awareness of the three-tiered RFGP amongst the recreational fishing fraternity, and encourage quality project proposals from eligible organisations within the small and large grant programs.
The draft plan also seeks to promote previously approved and completed projects through the distribution of promotional brochures and posters, as well as creating metal plaques for completed infrastructure projects funded under the 'recreational fishing access and facilities' category of the grants program.
The Working Group agreed with the need to implement the proposed plan and subsequent expenditure of RFL T/A funds.
RFGP Funding Agreement
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 Working Group noted that DPI has implemented a number of recommendations from the RFGP Governance Audit into the RFGP Funding Agreement.
Next meeting: Monday 19 July 2010.
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group