2019 Federal Election Policy Summary

 The following letter from Colin Tannahill, President AFTA, was sent to ALLPolitical Parties & Independents ahead of the Federal election to be held on the 18th May 2019 Re: Federal Election Policy Commitments:

Good Morning,

AFTA is the collective representative organisation for the recreational fishing industry, our aim is to work with the Commonwealth Government for the advancement of the recreational fishing industry, both in a business sense and a pastime experience

We represent the interests of over 4 million recreational fishers across Australia, made up of individuals, families, diversified sporting groups and small businesses, all who engage in recreational fishing and contribute significantly to the national economy.  This figure does not include those who are beneficiaries of the economic spread through fishing related tourism across Australia.

As outlined at the “Parliamentary Friends of Recreational Fishing Breakfast” at Parliament House, Canberra in November, AFTA takes a non-partisan approach in engaging with all politicians across our nation with our only goal to build an open relationship that benefits not just our members, but everyone that participates in recreational fishing.

We see our industry as a part of the solution going forward on so many fronts, not as a part of the problem, as such we work with the Fisheries Research Development Corporation to help Government better understand our sector. 

We want to build a better and stronger future for our nation, economically, environmentally & socially.  Therefore, AFTA would like to assist with promotion of positive policies that effect recreational fishing, as such I would encourage you, should you have questions or concerns, to reach out to us for assistance at any time. 

All of our Board positions are honorary, we are in the peak of our season and as such we cannot individually allocate the time away from our businesses to engage in politics on issues pertaining to recreational fishing.  However we have engaged The Hon Bob Baldwin, a former parliamentarian and a dedicated & respected fisherman to act in a non-partisan manner to reach out to members and political parties such as yourself and to follow through with you to ascertain your parties’ position for the next election so that we can analyse your policy and share it with our members. 

With the Federal State election to be held on the 18thMay 2019, I would ask you to provide your Party’s policy platform that will affect or benefit our members over the next 3 years for their consideration by no later than 10thMay, including, but not limited to:

  • The Commonwealth Marine Park Plan. Please provide a definitive response on the future of the Commonwealth Marine Park Plan which has 8 years to run before review.  This is an issue of major concern to our members and the recreational fishing community.
  • Murray-Darling Basin River System. The recent tragic events in the Murray-Darling Basin River System, in particular the massive fish kills are of concern not just to our AFTA members, but to all fishing people, tourism operators and Basin residents. Pleased provide your plan to address this and mitigate the impact.
  • The Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT). The recreational catch of SBT has come under intense political pressure lately, please detail your plan to protect the rights of recreational fishers to continue to catch the SBT and what restrictions/guidelines will be put into place.
  • Fisheries Research Development Corporation. The FRDC have recommenced a plan to conduct a National Recreational Fishing Survey which the industry supports.   What will your party do to provide a sustainable financial future for the FRDC and its work that benefits both the recreational and commercial sector?
  • Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program. Does your Party have a program to directly target the infrastructure needs of the Recreational Fishers in the community?  If so, please provide details of your program.

We are very keen to see a positive plan that delivers improved recreational fishing opportunities for all people and increases the economic benefit to Australia.

Please note that AFTA will not advocate whom to vote for at elections but will provide a non-partisan analysis of the policies being taken to the election by all the various parties for the forthcoming term to allow those who enjoy recreational fishing to make an informed decision on the benefit or detriment to their sport.


Please see the attached summaries of all policies submitted.