Revenue Spent in 2002-03
The State Government's partnership with recreational fishers continues to flourish to the mutual benefit of the fishers themselves and our fishing environment. The government is committed to improving the productivity and sustainability of Victoria's recreational fisheries for current and future generations.
The government is also committed to:
- ensuring recreational fishers are told what their licence fees are spent on, and are given a say in determining that expenditure; and,
- producing local, area-based management plans under a more coordinated approach to fisheries management
In the 2002/03 financial year, revenue from the sale of Recreational Fishing Licences (RFL) was approved for disbursement to more than 50 Recreational Fishing Grant Program (RFGP) projects designed to improve Victoria's recreational fishing. Over $1.7 million was allocated to projects to construct new fishing platforms and fish cleaning facilities, provide information signs, improve fish habitat and enhance fish stocking, develop and deliver recreational fisheries related education, information and training programs, and to conduct recreational fisheries research. I also made a commitment to disburse up to an additional $299,000 to projects that extend into the 2004/05, and up to additional $153,000 to projects that extend into the 2005/06 financial year. This is total funding of approximately $2.1 million over three years.
Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) Trust Account funds will continue to become available through the Recreational Fishing Grants Program to fund projects that improve recreational fishing in the following four project categories -
- Recreational fisheries' sustainability and habitat improvement (including fish stocking);
- Recreational fishing access and facilities;
- Recreational fisheries related education, information and training; and,
- Recreational fisheries research.
Nothwitstanding the disbursement of Trust Account funds to Recreational Fishing Grant Program projects, Trust Account revenues have also been disbursed to fund:
- the voluntary buy-out of all the remaining Inland Fishery Access Licences (IFALs) which saw the cessation of commercial fishing in 28 inland waters;
- the stocking of 2,000 Murray cod yearlings and 35,000 golden perch fingerlings into some of the inland waters where commercial fishing has now ceased as a result of the buy-out of the remaining IFALs;
- the ongoing operations of 10 Recreational Fisheries Officers (see pages 5 to 7 for information concerning the Recreational Fisheries Officers' Outputs for 2002/03)
- Victoria's recreational fishers' peak body;
- the final repayment of $500,000 to State Treasury for a previous Advance Appropriation of $4.5 million to fund the buy-out of 108 of 208 bays and inlets Commercial Fishery Access Licences.
This is the third report to each House of Parliament on the revenue and disbursements from the RFL Trust Account.
The coming years will see continued collaboration between key stakeholder groups and the Department of Primary Industries to increase recreational fishing opportunities, while ensuring sustainable utilisation of the resource.