Policy 2018 Boating Sport and recreation

Big boating facilities boost

10 September 2018

All boating fee proceeds will be allocated to improving the facilities for the boating community under a state Liberal Nationals Government.

Euroa MP and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan said this was great news for boaters around the state and for Victoria’s lakes and rivers.

“At the moment, Victorian boat users pay significant fees to the state government every year, but only a portion of that money is invested into better infrastructure and services,” she said.

“In 2016-17 the Andrews Labor Government returned just 11.6 per cent of the $27.7 million annual boating revenue back into boating infrastructure. The $3.23 million spent by Labor compares to investment in NSW of $17 million and in Queensland of $15 million annually.

“We will put all fee proceeds into improving the facilities for the boating community.”

Ms Ryan said the Blue Infrastructure Fund would result in improved infrastructure, including boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities.

“There’s always a lot of pressure for funding around bayside and coastal areas, but investment is needed in Victoria’s freshwater lakes and rivers too,” Ms Ryan said.

“Lake Nagambie in particular needs more funding to improve infrastructure for events like the GoFish competition next April which will be Australia’s richest freshwater fishing competition.

“I recently met with Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum and Strathbogie Shire mayor Amanda McClaren at Lake Nagambie to discuss plans for a new jetty and boardwalk.

“Lake Nillahcootie, Lake Eppalock, the Corop lakes and the Goulburn and Broken rivers also draw thousands of people each year, bringing money into our communities.

“A government study done 10 years ago estimated recreational fishing alone was worth $177 million to north east Victoria each year.”

VRFish, the peak body representing Victorian recreational fishers, welcomed the announcement, saying it would revolutionise Victoria’s failing boating infrastructure.

Chairman Rob Loats said: “This is very welcome news as it aligns with what we have been advocating for years.”

Caption: Strathbogie Shire chief executive Steve Crawcour, mayor Amanda McClaren, Nationals MPs Damian Drum and Steph Ryan and GO Nagambie’s Sissy Hoskins discuss improvements at Lake Nagambie.

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