Recfishwest has no political affiliation and will never tell anyone how they should vote. The following information is designed to inform fishers of the recreational fishing related commitments each party had made to improve your fishing experiences and can be used when deciding how best to cast your vote.
In January Recfishwest provided all major political parties with our “Package for Better Fishing”. This package was developed to inform political parties of the commitments Recfishwest wanted to receive prior to the 2017 state election.
The “Package for Better Fishing in WA” contained a number of aspirations designed to improve fishing experiences. This package can be broken down into two main categories:
- Creating more places to fish, and
- Providing more fish to catch.
More Places to Fish
1. Building the best fishing spots in Australia through installing artificial reefs in Albany, Perth, Carnarvon, Broome, Karratha, Port Hedland and Geraldton as well as FADs in Geraldton, Jurien Bay, Broome, Bunbury, Port Hedland, Carnarvon and Perth /Peel.
WA Liberals, WA Nationals, WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers and One Nation WA support additional investments in artificial reefs. WA Labor will continue to support artificial reefs that are funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
2. Unlocking inland waters through the opening of impoundments and urban waters for stocking of popular Australian Native freshwater fish such as Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Murray Cod and Australian Bass.
WA Liberals, WA Nationals, WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers and One Nation WA support investment in developing freshwater fishing hubs through the stocking of popular native species. WA Labor will continue to support stocking programs that are funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
3.Breathing life into waterways through the rehabilitation of shoreline vegetation and the establishment of nursery habitats in selected estuaries including the Swan/Canning River.
WA Labor, One Nation WA and WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers have expressed explicit support for the restoration of shorelines and the establishment of shellfish reefs.
More Fish to Catch
1. 10 million more fish to catch through the stocking of 10 million fish including Australian Native Freshwater Fish, Barramundi, Mulloway, Blue Swimmer Crabs, Pink Snapper and Prawns as well as support for hatcheries used in breeding fish for these stocking programs.
WA Liberal, WA Nationals, One Nation WA and WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers support additional investment in the stocking of popular recreational species. WA Labor will continue to support stocking programs that are funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
WA Liberal has also committed to the rebuilding of the Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research which has been used in breeding fish for the majority of recreational stocking programs.
2. A better deal for Peel through a fair and reasonable buyout of some commercial fishing licences, better recreational data collection and management changes to make fishing experiences in the Peel-Harvey estuary even better.
WA Liberal, WA Labor, WA Nationals, WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers and One Nation WA have indicated they are open to supporting the rationalisation of commercial fisheries in the Peel-Harvey through a voluntary buy back of some commercial licences provided commercial fishers agree and are provided fair and reasonable compensation.
3. A fair go for fishers through policy changes to support fishing including:
a) Prioritising Lower West Coast Blue Swimmer Crabs for recreational and tourism purposes.
b) Prohibiting gillnets and beach-seine netting in proximity to coastal towns.
c) Rationalising current commercial fishing pressure in our estuaries.
d) Prioritising Salmon as a key sports fishing and tourism resource.
WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers support all policy changes contained in this package provided commercial fishers are treated fairly and provided reasonable compensation should their operations be adversely affected by these changes. One Nation WA also supports the prioritisation of salmon as a key sports fishing initiative and tourism attraction.
In addition to this package, Recfishwest informed all parties that we expected current funding levels for Recfishwest, the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and Fishability (formally Fishers with Disabilities) are maintained. We are happy to report that WA Liberal, WA Nationals, One Nation WA and WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers have all committed to maintaining current funding levels while WA Labor has also committed to increasing funding for Fishability by 33%.
The commitments contained in Recfishwest’s “Package for Better Fishing in WA” represent an investment of $15 million over four years. Considering the government receives $7.5 million dollars every year through recreational fishing licence fees and that fishing is one of the state’s most popular recreational activities contributing hundreds of millions to the WA economy every year the package Recfishwest has presented to all parties is more than reasonable.
In addition to commitments contained within Recfishwests package for better fishing, there have been a number of other commitments made by various parties that would benefit fishing. These include;
- WA Labor and WA Liberal have committed to fund fishing safety programs with WA Labor also supporting the development of a marine rescue phone application.
- WA Liberal and WA Labor have both committed to developing the Ocean Reef Marina.
- WA Liberal and WA Nationals have committed funding towards restoring access to the Esperance Jetty.
- WA Labor have committed to supporting an upgrade of boating facilities in Broome.
- WA Liberal have committed to providing floating fishing platforms in the Swan /Canning River.
To read more about the recreational fishing related commitments from WA Labor and WA Liberal click on the links below.
The WA Shooters Fishers and Farmers party also have a fishing policy which can be accessed by clicking on the following link. WA Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Fishing Policy
With a little over a week to go before the state election, Recfishwest is confident all parties will continue to recognise and respect the 740,000 West Australians who go fishing every year and make a few more specific commitments that will benefit recreational fishing.
Following the election, it is our responsibility to work with the next government to ensure these promises and commitments are delivered. Recfishwest will continue to work tirelessly to protect, promote and develop sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community.