RECREATIONAL fishers are facing an increase in licence fees.
The State Government has announced fees will rise by $5 from July 8 to help cover “inherited record debt and deficits” from the previous government.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the cost had not increased since 2010.
“Every cent from licence fees goes towards improving recreational fishing opportunities by providing increased funding to Recfishwest, the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, and to fisheries management, which all work to ensure our recreational fishing industry remains sustainable and safe for fishers,” he said.
“Line fishing from beaches and jetties will still be free so families can still enjoy a great weekend and holiday experience along the WA coast.”
He said 50 per cent discounts still applied to licences for students aged 16 and older, pensioners and seniors.
The revised fees are $45 for licences for fishing rock lobster, abalone and marron, fishing with a net or from a boat and for fresh water angling in the South-West.
Recfishwest will receive 15 per cent of the funds, 25 per cent will go to the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and the remainder will be used for fisheries management.Opposition fisheries spokesman Ian Blayney believed the increase was being implemented to pay for the Government’s “unfunded promises” made during the election and believed that funds being used for ‘fisheries management’ was vague.
“Coming on top of the massive increases in household charges, I think the fishing public of WA are owed better accountability than a catch-all line entry with no transparency attached to it,” he said.
“This is not an insignificant sum of money; the total revenue raised from the fees will be $2.1 million.”