Tasmania’s Liberal Party has pledged $3 million funding to the recreational fishing industry if re-elected – just a day after Labour announced a $2 million election commitment to upgrading the state’s boating infrastructure.
The investment would release $2 million to help sea fishing clubs upgrade their premises and for improvements to infrastructure. The other $1 million would go to the Inland Fisheries Service to upgrade facilities.
The Liberals also promise no new taxes for anglers and that the existing $12 annual fee for junior inland anglers will be waived for the next four years. In addition, $100,000 would go towards a tagged trout programme.
Guy Barnett, Member of the House of Assembly for Lyons, the state’s biggest electorate, denied the funding was a reaction to Labour’s announcement.
“Labour is following in our footsteps. It knows there is no government in history that’s done more to support recreational fishing,” he said. “It confirms that what I’m announcing in our $3 million package – that it knows we’re doing the right thing.”
Barnett said Tasmania had some of the finest recreational fishing spots in the world, and the funding was a way to support the industry further. “It means there will be more fish caught in more lakes more often,” he added.