Fund to get part of li­cence rev­enues

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

THE State Gov­ern­ment has reversed its de­ci­sion to slash fund­ing to the Recre­ational Fish­ing Ini­tia­tives Fund (RFIF).

On Wed­nes­day , Fish­eries Min­is­ter Ken Bas­ton con­firmed his sup­port for the RFIF, which will see 25 per cent of recre­ational fish­ing li­cence rev­enue go to the fund.

This comes de­spite bud­get pa­pers show­ing only 13 per­cent of rev­enue would go to the fund; 12 per cent less than what was ini­tially promised.

Mr Bas­ton said ev­ery dollar of recre­ational fish­ing li­cence rev­enue was rein­vested into recre­ational fish­ing man­age­ment and en­hance­ment projects.

“The $800,000 sav­ing men- tioned in the bud­get pa­pers will be iden­ti­fied across the depart­ment’s bud­get, ex­clud­ing the RFIF,” Mr Bas­ton said.

“Each year, Rec­fish­west sub­mit a range of pro­pos­als for the Gov­ern­ment to con­sider to be funded out of the RFIF, and I as­sess th­ese ac­cord­ing to the pri­or­i­ties of the State.”

Rec­fish­west prin­ci­pal pol­icy ad­vi­sor Ley­land Camp­bell wel­comed the move.

“Rec­fish­west sees this as a suit­able re­sult. We will be mon­i­tor­ing where the cost sav­ings are be­ing ap­plied to make sure that recre­ational fish­ing is not im­pacted in any way,” he said.

The not-for-profit, com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tion was con­cerned that with­out the fund­ing there would be no more prawns, mulloway or pink snap­per stocked in lo­cal rivers.

“Since its in­cep­tion in 2011, the RFIF has in­vested $6.5 mil­lion into com­mu­nity projects sup­port­ing fish­ing safety, ar­ti­fi­cial reefs, youth devel­op­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, fish ag­gre­ga­tion de­vices, bi­o­log­i­cal re­search on im­por­tant recre­ational species and stock­ing of iconic fish species,” Mr Camp­bell said.

“Th­ese projects are highly val­ued by the com­mu­nity.”

A re­port by Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity has shown the wa­ter­way is in the best eco­log­i­cal health for a decade, also not­ing an in­crease in species living close to river­banks.

A group of fish­ers in the Swan River us­ing prawn drag nets.

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