Labor wants rec fishers to have a voice

MORE SAY: From left, local fisherman, Geoff, with Susan Jenvey and Valla Beach Tavern Family Fishing Club members, Dan Clowe and Dan Elliott.
MORE SAY: From left, local fisherman, Geoff, with Susan Jenvey and Valla Beach Tavern Family Fishing Club members, Dan Clowe and Dan Elliott.

Recreational fishers will be involved in how their licence fees are spent if Labor wins the March 23 NSW election.

Country Labor's Oxley candidate Susan Jenvey said a new independent body, known as RecFishNSW, would be established to oversee recreational fishing statewide.

"Rec fishers have wealth of expertise and local knowledge that the Government needs to work with, not against," Ms Jenvey said.

"Labor will work with recreational fisherman throughout the mid-north coast and offer them a seat at the table, rather than ignoring them.

"Anglers deserve to know where the millions they fork out in licence fees end up … it would also assist to properly protecting fish and their environments."

Background:

As a statutory authority, RecFish NSW would improve the governance and oversight of the $15 million raised each year from recreational fishing licence fees.

The board would include a mix of skill sets and expertise including legal, business, and marine science, as well as elected representatives of anglers from coastal and inland regions, giving anglers a real voice and real oversight over the use of their licence fees.

Currently anglers pay licence fees but have little idea how decisions are made over how these funds are used or where they are allocated. This has led to a lack of trust between government and fishers.

Recreational fishing is part of the lives of thousands in NSW, and is also an important industry.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries estimates that there are over 850,000 anglers, generating $3.4 billion of economic output, and underpinning more than 14,000 jobs across the state.

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