Following the 2018/19 state budget all recreational fishing licence fees will increase by $5 from 1st July. The reason given for this increase in licence fees is to assist with the costs associated with fisheries management and the Minister for Fisheries has promised there will be no more licence fee increases during this term of Government.
Recfishwest does not support this fee increase, we were not consulted about it, we don’t believe the need for it has been adequately explained and we have concerns it may reduce fishing participation.
Recfishwest has informed the government that addressing known inefficiencies in the current recreational fishing budget, reviewing the entire licence framework to make licence fees more equitable and investing in projects to increase participation rates in licenced fisheries are all much better options to assist with the costs associated with managing recreational fishing.
Fishing is an integral part of the Australian lifestyle, it provides far reaching social, economic and wellbeing benefits and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure the community have reasonable access to the publically owned fish resources of Western Australia. Just as the government do not expect surfers and swimmers to pay for shark patrols, bike riders to pay for cycle paths or the community to pay for managing Kings Park they should not expect fishers to pay for managing fishing. Recreational fishing should be managed in a similar way to National Parks where users are expected to contribute a fee towards management costs while recognising full cost recovery is unreasonable and not a target of government.
Recfishwest understand there are significant costs involved in managing fishing and we will support good policy to assist with meeting some of these costs however recreational fishers currently provide the government with $8 million per year in licence fees and are already contributing more than their fair share towards the cost of managing Western Australia’s publically owned fish resources.
New Pricing from 1st July for recreational fishing licences below:
- Fishing from boat – $40
- Rock Lobster- $50
- South-west freshwater angling – $50
- Net fishing (haul, set, throw) – $50
- Abalone – $50
- Marron – $50
A licence is not required when line fishing from beaches and jetties.