New members appointed to Victorian Fishing Grants Working Group

Three new appointments to the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group will help provide the best advice to the Victorian Coalition Government on how to spend fishing licence revenue.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the group consisted of seven recreational fishers appointed for a three-year term, along with one person nominated by VRFish and one person representing recreational fishing businesses.

Mr. Walsh welcomed new appointees Matthew Harrington to represent inland fishing, Neville Dance to represent south west Victoria, and John Higginson to represent the marine/coastal fishery.

They join independent chairperson Robert Loats and reappointed members Russell Conway, Philip Weigall and Jennifer Allitt, along with VRFish representative Stephen Relf, and business sector representative Lynette Hogan.

'The Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group encompasses a wide range of fishing sector knowledge and experience, providing advice to Government on how to improve recreational fishing opportunities in Victoria by spending fishing licence funds,' Mr Walsh said.

'The group assesses applications for funding from angling clubs, community groups, councils and other government agencies.

'Examples of past projects include fish stocking into lakes and rivers; improved angler access including fishing platforms; family fishing days; fish habitat improvement; and the installation of fishing reefs in Port Phillip Bay,' Mr Walsh said.

'The Coalition Government recognises the significant contribution recreational fishing makes to the state’s economy. Fishing is a popular pastime for over 720,000 Victorians and supports regional businesses ranging from hotels to bait and tackle stores.

'The Coalition Government is committed to putting fishing licence fees to work to deliver the best outcomes for recreational fishers across the state,' Mr. Walsh said.

Mr Walsh thanked outgoing working group members Shane Korth and Martin Ellul, as well as outgoing chairperson John Diplock, for their contribution to the group.