KAF urges WA anglers to make their vote count

KEEP Australia Fishing (KAF) has urged West Australian anglers to carefully consider their options ahead of the state election on March 9.

KAF has canvassed the major players in the WA election and discovered a vast difference in their commitment to key recreational fishing issues.

The incumbent Liberal Government recently announced it would allocate $2.4 million towards the continued expansion of restocking and enhancement programs across the state’s waterways to ensure better fishing experiences for all Western Australians.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said key initiatives included turning the little-used Wellington Dam, near Collie, into a recreational fishing hub. Moore also pointed out the Liberals had already announced an allocation of $300,000 to help minimise the risk of rock fishing deaths and injuries by identifying safety, emergency response systems and rescue equipment for popular rock fishing locations. The Liberals also recently announced funding for projects to re-stock river prawns in the Swan River and mulloway in the South-West.

Moore said a re-elected Liberal Government would also back increased science and research for key fisheries. His statement also was applauded by Recfishwest, the peak body for recreational fishing in WA.

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WA Fisheries Minister Norman Moore … Implementing key initiatives for anglers.

The Liberals’ clear pitch for the angling vote was in stark contrast to a brief statement by Labor leader Mark McGowan when asked about his party’s recreational fishing policies.
“WA Labor welcomes any attempt to spare damage to Western Australia’s marine environment, providing it is based on sound scientific principles,” McGowan said.
“The best way to ensure fishing stocks are viable is to provide adequate pollution management.”

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WA Opposition Leader Mark McGowan … No rec fishing policies.

The National Party said it did not plan to announce any policies directly relating to recreational angling prior to the election. The new Shooters and Fishers Party WA, which is running candidates in every Upper House region, said it was committed to ensuring the rights of recreational anglers were preserved by working to stop anti-fishing legislation.

SFP WA also wants to improve vehicle access to beaches for family fishing and called for a commitment from government to preserve revenue from fishing license fees solely for the benefit of recreational fishers and fish stocks.

The voters of WA have an important choice to make on March 9. KAF urges all recreational fishers in WA to consider what their vote may mean for the future of one of Australia’s most popular, and historic, pastimes.

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