NSW Election Update:
With the NSW election on the 25th March and Prepoll voting commencing 18th March it is more than disappointing that both the major parties are yet to announce their policy for recreational fishing.
Recreational fishers eagerly await the release of policy details from each political party to make informed decisions as to what is in their best interests
AFTA put the following issues to all political parties for consideration ahead of their policy document release:
- Establishing the NSW Women in Recreational Fishing program (WIRF). This program originated in Victoria and has now spread to Qld, a very successful program of engagement and inclusion and should be part of any inclusive policy.
- The need for an increased Western Sydney fishing access. This became very evident during the COVID lockdown experience when people of the west were confined to their LGA. For a population about the same as the rest of NSW, increasing the local fishing opportunities for Western Sydney in Dams & Reservoirs will create more options and opportunities which means more tackle sold in that area.
- Jewfish fishery management, we need a proper harvest sharing process that begins with reviewing commercial netting practices and overall compliance.
- Action on the Great Lakes – Port Stephens Marine Park, a well and truly overdue review.
- The establishment of the next round of Recreational Fishing Havens – just like the last round funded by a loan that the Recreational Fishing Licence fees paid off.
- Increase the number of hatcheries and a dedicated marine hatchery to help recruit and stock important recreational species. While current stocking is coming out of the research hatcheries it is nowhere near the levels needed to make a real difference and boost the RFH stocks.
- Improving the quality and surety of access in rural and riverine areas. Currently, it’s a multi-departmental minefield and, by default, locks up a lot of areas that should be accessible to our customers. Victoria does this very well with the recent legislative changes allowing access to leasehold waterfront land.
- Addressing the Qld Spanish Mackerel decision and the potential impacts on NSW with pressure from QLD to close our fishery in line with the QLD DPI.
Despite repeated requests to the political parties only One Nation have submitted their policy (https://afta.net.au/nsw-one-nation-fishing-policy/)
As AFTA receive the submitted policies from the political parties, AFTA will post the policy documents on the AFTA website and provide an impartial analysis of what is on offer to our industry.
Politicians should remember that in NSW 1 in 5 people participate in recreational fishing and that delivers $3.9 billion to the NSW economy and we will not be taken for granted.