Re: Gippsland Lake Commercial Netting Licence Buybacks
The Marine and Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was passed in the Legislative Assembly on the 12th September and now will go before the Legislative Council in the next week (14th October).
It is critical that AFTA members and Recreational Fishers in Victoria contact their elected representatives to ask them to support the Governments Election commitment remove the commercial netting from Gippsland Lakes.
Previously, the Victorian Government removed commercial netting from Port Phillip Bay, AFTA strongly supported this position.
At the election on the 24th November 2018, the Government’s Recreational Fishing Policy was to remove the commercial netting from Gippsland Lakes.
As Victorians you would be aware the Government does not hold the balance of power in the Upper House (Legislative Council) and relies on Cross-Bench support for controversial legislation to pass. The Coalition opposed the Buy-Backs in the lower house and have indicated they may do so in the Upper House, therefore, it is critical for you to be directly involved for this Bill to pass.
We would ask you contact your local Upper House members to ask that they respect the mandate the Government has to remove netting from Gippsland Lakes and vote accordingly. The list is available at: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/people-in-parliament/members-search/list-all-legislative-council-members
Whilst AFTA will not advocate whom to vote for, we will advocate on issues important to our members in a non-partisan manner. We believe that these actions to remove commercial netting in Gippsland Lakes will truly improve recreational fishing for all Victorians and increases the economic benefit to Victoria.
Our industry in Victoria alone directly employs more than 16,000 employees with a contribution to the Victorian economy in excess of $1.5 billion, noting that indirectly Tourism is also a major benefactor from recreational fishing activities. As a whole we represent the interests of 838,000 Victorians, made up of individuals, families, diversified sporting groups, all who engage in recreational fishing and contribute significantly to the Victorian economy.
Let’s do this together
The Hon Bob BaldwinChair,