Bill's Media Releases


A Shorten Labor Government will make recreational fishing more enjoyable, safer and more accessible by investing $10 million over five years in a Supporting Recreational Fishing Fund.

More and more recreational fishing is being carried out on boats – in Tasmania alone, 57 per cent of fishing days occur on boats.

Many of the existing boat ramps are inadequate for today’s needs – they are often single lane, resulting in long queues and competition for spots on the launches. Others may be unable to be used at low tide, meaning use is restricted further.

Labor’s Fund will primarily go to helping local councils upgrade existing boat ramps and build new ones, meaning shorter queues and easier access to the water. Labor’s investment could support around 40 upgrades across the country.

Labor’s Fund is all about helping recreational fishers spend less time waiting to get on the water and more time doing what they love with friends and family.
Across the North West and West coast, for example, projects for immediate consideration from this fund could include:

  • Port Sorell boat ramp upgrade, which currently has restricted use at low tide;
  • Heybridge boat ramp upgrade;
  • Macquarie Heads boat ramp

Elsewhere in Tasmania, the Central Highlands region will host the World Fly Fishing Championships in 2019, which will be a significant tourism boost for the states by attracting around 150 international competitors.

Investing in this infrastructure would promote increased long term camping within the area from visiting tourists, promote Tasmania’s trout fishery on an ongoing basis, as well as allow access to the many outdoor experiences in the area.

Fishing makes a huge contribution to the local economy, with $93 million spent on boats, fuel and tackle in Tasmania every year.

Nationwide, an estimated 3.4 million Australians take part in fishing annually, contributing around $1.8 billion to the national economy and employing 90,000 Australians.

Recreational fishing is Australia’s fourth most popular activity, and Labor wants to make sure it continues to be an enjoyable pastime for everyone who fishes.

Instead of supporting Turnbull and Brett Whiteley’s $17 billion giveaway to the big banks, Labor is making smart investments in the infrastructure and services Australians want.

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