NT News

Labor boat ramp vow fails to hold water: CLP

- THOMAS MORGAN POLITICAL REPORTER

FISHOS have been left high and dry by a $32m underspend on boat ramps, the CLP has said.

The $50m RecFishing Futures Program was a promise taken to the 2016 election by then opposition leader Michael Gunner.

Five years on, CLP Deputy Opposition Leader Gerard Maley has accused the government of spending only $12m of that cash on “advisory committees”, despite originally being earmarked for

projects at Daly River, Dundee and Point Stuart, among others.

“We all know that recreation­al fishing in the Northern Territory is a massive industry, and it really boosts our economy,” Mr Maley said.

“The money has been allocated but it hasn’t been spent.”

The CLP has provided figures showing Labor chose to revote $32.5m in the latest 2021-22 budget.

“The CLP are calling on the government to get organised and get these projects delivered,” Mr Maley said.

Amateur Fishermen’s Associatio­n NT chief executive David Ciaravolo said he wanted to see projects be shovelread­y by early next year.

“Clearly, we’re pleased for the $50m promise in 2016, (but) I think there was the expectatio­n it would be spent in a term of government,” Mr Ciaravolo said.

“We certainly want to see that money spent and the key thing is we need to see these projects move forward. They certainly need to be delivered in this term of government.

“We don’t want to see the money spent on upkeep.”

Mr Ciaravolo said $50m wouldn’t be enough money if stretched over a number of years.

Recreation­al Fishing Minister Paul Kirby said the rest of the $50m commitment would be delivered over coming years.

“There remains $32.5m to invest in recreation­al fishing infrastruc­ture; $13.7m of this has been earmarked to deliver upgrades to Point Stuart access and Daly River carpark,” Mr Kirby said.

The government also slammed the CLP’s record on boating infrastruc­ture, saying the opposition’s only accomplish­ment was a “substandar­d boat ramp at Dundee” during its last term.

“We have a raft of projects competed and under way as part of our $50m investment – including fixing the Dundee boat ramp,” Mr Kirby said.

 ??  ?? David Ciaravolo.
David Ciaravolo.

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