Posted on 05. Oct, 2010 in Victoria

The Brumby Labor Government has granted VRFish, the body representing Victoria’s recreational fishers, funding of $423,500 a year from the Recreational Fishing Licence revenue.

Minister Responsible for Fisheries Joe Helper said the development of a formal grant agreement fulfils the Government’s commitment to provide a more secure funding base for VRFish.

“The funding agreement will enable VRFish to better plan and deliver its important role in providing advice to the Victorian Government about the management of the state’s fisheries, including our fish stocking program and regulations such as bag limits”, Mr Helper said.

“Fishing is not only a great recreational pastime but it also plays a vital role to the economies of many regional communities.

“A recent study prepared by Ernst and Young, which was commissioned by VRFish, shows that the recreational fishing industry is worth more than $820 million annually to the Victorian economy and creates around 5000 jobs.

“The new funding agreement will enable VRFish to focus on its core business of consulting and representing the broad range of views within the recreational fishing community.

“The funding agreement also recognises VRFish’s role in providing advice to Fisheries Victoria and other Victorian government agencies, local councils, catchment management authorities and other fisheries bodies.”

The new funding agreement includes stronger accountabilities for the expenditure of the recreational licence fees by VRFish, based on an independent report prepared by Deloitte Australia under the supervision of the Executive Director, Fisheries Victoria and the VRFish Chairperson.

For example, the new agreement establishes clear requirements for VRFish to provide reports on its performance.

VRFish Chairman, Geoff Cramer said the Victorian Government’s commitment to fund VRFish will provide a secure financial environment for VRFish to operate in.

 “The new agreement also provides a clearly defined role for VRFish in providing advocacy for Victoria’s 700,000 plus recreational fishers,” Mr Cramer said.

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