Media Releases

18
Nov

Guy-Hodgett: A better and fairer deal for local boaties and recreational fishers

Victoria’s waterways are weekend playgrounds to millions of Victorians.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will create a Blue Infrastructure Fund to provide first-class infrastructure and services for recreational water users like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks and cleaning tables.

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 for water users.

Under a Liberal Nationals Government, the Blue Infrastructure Fund will return all proceeds of collected boating fees into improving the facilities for the boating community.

Boating users raise significant revenue for the Victorian Government through boat licensing and other financial arrangements. In 2016/17 the Andrews Labor Government returned just 11.6 per cent of the $27.7 million annual boating revenue on boating infrastructure. The $3.23 million spent by Labor compares to investment in NSW of $17 million and in Queensland of $15 million annually.

The Blue Infrastructure Fund will invest in infrastructure like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting and onshore facilities that improves access, enjoyment and protection to Victoria’s waterways.

A Liberal Nationals Government will appoint the Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne (VPCM) to manage marine infrastructure development in the state. The VPCM has the appropriate expertise to oversee and coordinate all planning, funding, construction and maintenance of marine infrastructure in Victoria. This is modelled on the NSW system.

Recreational boating is estimated to contribute $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year. This is underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants annually and 17,700 full-time jobs.

In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for over 30,000 full-time jobs.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“Victoria’s waterways are weekend playgrounds to millions of Victorians which is why we want to build better facilities for water users to enjoy.

The Liberal Nationals will deliver a fair go for boaties and recreational fishers by making sure their license and other fees are spent on upgrading and building things like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks.

This investment will be right throughout our state – from our bays and coast to our inland lakes and waterways.

The Port Phillip and Western Port regions are home to millions of Victorians so protecting this natural asset and developing the facilities for people to use and enjoy is a key focus for me.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, David Hodgett:

“Port Phillip Bay is one of Victoria’s best assets and we must do everything we can to manage and protect it.

A failure to plan for its future is a plan for failure.

This election there will be a clear choice for waterway users.

Daniel Andrews and Labor have no plan to protect and enhance our waterways and that’s a problem for our bay communities.”

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