Ingram to help deliver Victoria’s rec fishing vision

FORMER independent Member for Gippsland East, Craig Ingram, has been appointed by the Andrews Labor Government as a Special Coordinator to assist with implementing its Target One Million plan to grow recreational fishing in Victoria.

The Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, said Mr Ingram’s most immediate task will be to work with Fisheries Victoria to deliver on the Labor Government’s commitment to halt commercial netting in Port Phillip and Corio bays over eight years and support the industry in this transition.

In delivering this commitment, the Labor Government has undertaken to offer commercial licence holders a clear and fair exit strategy, consult closely with the industry and work respectfully with all those impacted.

With prior experience in the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, including as the Executive Officer of the Amateur Fisherman’s Association of the NT and as a former abalone diver, Mr Ingram is well placed to consult closely with stakeholders from both sectors to implement the phase out and the Target One Million plan.

Mr Ingram will work directly with Ms Pulford and assist with the delivery of other Target One Million initiatives, including banning netting at the mouth of rivers in the Gippsland lakes, stocking 15,000 barramundi into Hazelwood Pondage, and fulfilling infrastructure commitments under the Better Fishing Facilities Fund.

Target One Million will increase the number of Victorian recreational fishers to 1 million by 2020, boost fish stocks to 5 million fish per year, support new infrastructure facilities and develop new children’s fishing programs.

The Labor Government provided $20 million in the recent 2015-15 Victorian Budget for Target One Million, demonstrating its commitment to the recreational fishing sector.

Minister Jaala Pulford said “Labor’s Target One Million will grow recreational fishing in Victoria, creating jobs, supporting local businesses and giving families better opportunities to spend time together outdoors.”

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