Liberal Nationals’ plan to secure a sustainable future for Gippsland Lakes

Wednesday 31 October 2018

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will offer a voluntary buyback of commercial fishing licences on the Gippsland Lakes to secure a sustainable fishery for future generations.

A Gippsland Lakes Sustainability Plan will be developed in consultation with industry and the community, and will also explore opportunities to undertake habitat restoration work to boost fish stocks.

Up to $2 million will be committed for the voluntary buyback of commercial licences, as called for by both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the plan will be informed by the community, industry and using the best available science on the history and health of the Gippsland Lakes fishery.

“The Liberal Nationals are committed to managing Victoria’s fisheries to ensure sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries for future generations,” Mr Walsh said.

“By reducing commercial fishing activity in the Gippsland Lakes region and planning for the future of the fishery we can boost opportunities for recreational fishing, which is good for tourism and local businesses.”

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will offer a fair and equitable voluntary exit strategy for commercial operators. There are currently 10 commercial licences remaining in the Gippsland Lakes.

The Gippsland Lakes Sustainability Plan will also look to modernise commercial licencing arrangements and will explore options for habitat restoration works and fish stock recovery projects in the Gippsland Lakes.

Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said a thriving Gippsland Lakes was good for all users.

“Ensuring the health of the Gippsland Lakes is good for our commercial and recreational fishers and for our local tourism operators,” Mr Bull said.

“The offer of a voluntary buyback has been called for by both commercial and recreational fishing sectors – while the Andrews Labor Government has failed to act for four years, the Liberal Nationals have listened and will deliver it for the benefit of all.”

Only an elected Liberal Nationals Government will partner with the community and industry to ensure the sustainability of the Gippsland Lakes fishery for generations to come.

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