$5 licence fee increase to take effect from 1st July

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.

Breaking News – Licence Fees To Increase

Recfishwest Media Statement

11 May 2018

Deja vu for WA Fishers as the Government get their Hooks into Licence Fees –  Again.

  • Second fishing licence fee increase in 12 months
  • Recfishwest was not consulted
  • Recfishwest will be pushing hard to ensure every cent of the additional money delivers maximum benefit to the fishing community

Despite promising no surprises in this year’s budget, recreational fishers will be in for an unpleasant surprise when they come to renew their fishing licences after another $5 increase in the cost of each of the fishing licences was announced.  This is the second $5 rise in fishing licence fees in the last 12 months.

Recfishwest do not support these increases, we were not consulted about them, we don’t believe they are necessary and we have not been advised how the additional money will be used.

Recfishwest Acting Chief Executive Officer Leyland Campbell said that the Government have made the wrong decision.

“If revenue is a genuine concern to Government, we believe there are far better options to assist with the cost of managing recreational fishing, such as addressing known inefficiencies in the current recreational fishing budget, reviewing the entire licence framework, or investing in projects to increase participation rates in licenced fisheries”

“Increasing recreational fishing licence fees should not be the first option considered.  Not many businesses would survive if they simply looked to raise prices every time they wanted more money.”

Recfishwest understand there are significant costs involved in managing recreational fishing, however fishers already contribute more than their fair share towards the cost of managing recreational fishing through $8 million in licence fees they currently provide the government every year.

“I don’t know of any other group that contributes so much towards managing their recreational activity and unfortunately as costs have gone up, the service that is being provided has gone down.”

In the last 12 months recreational fishing priority projects have been delayed, reviews of important recreational fisheries have stalled, management changes to improve fishing are not being progressed and now when someone buys a fishing licence they are not provided with a rule book to help them understand what they are and are not allowed to do.

“Any increase in fees should be accompanied by an equivalent increase in service. This did not happen last time the government raised fees and there is no reason to believe service will improve with the new fee increases.”

Recfishwest fears participation rates could even fall as many people are now likely to think twice about whether they can afford to go fishing or worse, they may choose to fish without a licence placing them in danger of prosecution.

Recfishwest will be pushing hard to ensure every cent of the additional $1 million the Government will receive from this increase, plus the additional $1 million they are already receiving from last year’s fee increase is accounted for and delivers maximum benefit to the fishing community.

Although the Minister has promised there will be no more increases in licence fees during this term of Government this promise will be of no comfort to fishers who were already paying the highest recreational fishing fees in the country.

New Pricing for recreational fishing licences below:

Fishing from boat (statewide) $35 + $5 = $40

Rock Lobster  $45 + $5 = $50

South-west freshwater angling $45 + $5 = $50

Net fishing (haul, set, throw) $45 + $5 = $50

Abalone $45 + $5 = $50

Marron $45 + $5 = $50