Michael Daley and Labor will give ordinary anglers and recreational fishers across NSW a seat at the table when it comes to determining how their licence fees will be spent.
Labor will establish a new independent body, known as RecFishNSW, to oversee recreational fishing in NSW.
This will give anglers across NSW a real voice and real oversight over the use of their recreational fishing licence fees.
As a statutory authority, RecFish NSW would improve the governance and oversight of the $15 million raised each year from recreational fishing licence fees that are placed into the Recreational Fishing Trust.
Its board would include a mix of skillsets and expertise including legal, business, and marine science, as well as elected representatives of anglers from coastal and inland regions.
Currently anglers pay their licence fees but have little idea how decisions are made over their use. This has led to a lack of trust between Government and fishers.
Fishers pay their fees but have little input into where these funds are allocated. Much of the funding goes directly to NSW Fisheries.
Under RecFish NSW’s decision-making process, the Department of Primary Industries will still be able to bid for funding, but the final decision about allocating that money will be made by the independent RecFish NSW board.
Recreational fishing is an important industry in NSW, there are over 770,000 anglers, generating $3.4 billion of economic output, and underpinning more than 14,000 jobs.
It also is an important part of life for hundreds of thousands of NSW citizens.
Mr Daley said “Casting a line is one of the simple joys of life, I want to ensure that my kids and their kids can continue to do so if they wish.
“Anglers deserve to know where the millions they fork out in licence fees end up, and to have a real say in how that money’s used to support rec fishing across NSW."
“Rather than ignoring anglers, I want to work with them and give them a seat at the table”, Mr Daley said.
NSW Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch said, ““Recreational anglers have been telling me they are fed up with taking orders from this Government. You pay your fee, it goes to the bureaucrats, and you don’t know much beyond that.”
“There is a wealth of expertise and insights in the recreational fishing sector that Government needs to work with, not against” Mr Veitch said.