Supporting Recreational Fishing


A Shorten Labor Government will implement Australia’s most comprehensive national policy for recreational fishing.


A Shorten Labor Government will support recreational fishing in Australia and seek to partner with Australia’s recreational fishers by improving infrastructure, growing native fish stocks and ensuring that at all times recreational fishers are consulted on the issues that affect them. Our policy includes: 

A $45 million Recreational Fishing Fund 

To improve recreational fishing infrastructure across the country, Labor will expand the $10 million Supporting Recreational Fishing Fund, to $45 million.  

The Supporting Recreational Fishing Fund will primarily focus on upgrading existing and building new boat ramps will help improve safety for people launching their vessels.  

Projects to be considered for funding will be identified in consultation with representatives from the recreational fishing community, peak bodies, local government and other elected officials.  

$10 million to help replenish native fish stocks  

Labor will invest $10 million into native fish breeding and stocking around Australia to stock 10 million native fish a year into rivers such as the Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Darling, Murrumbidgee, Edwards, Wakool, Peel, Macquarie, Barwon, McIntyre, Culgoa – but this list is not finite and we will work with recreational fishing groups to determine where to make investments.  

Labor will consult with recreational fishing groups on the best way to replenish native fish stocks, such as which species and breeds should be priorities. Options for funding will include funding support for dedicated fish hatcheries and co-investing in existing state government native fish breeding programs. 

Labor will ensure the federal program works closely with closely with similar state programs, such as that run by Fisheries Victoria. 

Prime Minister’s Recreational Fishing Roundtable 

A Shorten Labor Government will establish the first Prime Minister’s Recreational Fishing Roundtable.  

The roundtable will meet once a year – industry leaders and recreational fishing groups will be invited to discuss pressing issues with both the prime minister and the minister responsible for fisheries. 

The annual roundtable will be held in regional Australia – for example North West Tasmania, the North Coast of New South Wales, or Central or North Queensland: areas in Australia where recreational fishing is a major pastime.  

The roundtable will be tasked with discussing guaranteed access for recreational anglers to fish, to ensure recreational fishing is supported. 

Give Back to Habitat campaign 

A $500,000 grant will be provided to the Give Back to Habitat campaign to support on the ground efforts to protect and restore fish habitats. Recreational fishers are some of Australia’s most committed conservationists 

Small Pelagic Fishery and super trawlers 

Labor will ensure that Australia’s waters are adequately protected from the risks associated with the use of large-capacity factory freezer trawlers, by banning super trawlers in the Commonwealth’s Small Pelagic Fishery. 

Recreational Fisher Consultation

Labor will continue to support the National Recreational Fishing Council and give our recreational fishers a seat at the decision-making table. Chaired by the minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the council will include representatives of both recreational fishers and relevant government departments.  

National Carp Control Plan

Labor notes that the delivery date for National Carp Control Plan has been extended until December 2019 to allow important new research to address knowledge gaps that have emerged as a result of current work. Before making any decision, Labor will await the final report and control plan and consider the technical feasibility of releasing the carp virus, the associated costs, benefits and risks, and the views of stakeholders and the wider community, including the recreational fishing community.  

Investment in Fishing Research

Labor supports investment into research on the role and impact of recreational fishing including the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s (FRDC) ongoing investment in recreational fishing R&D and, in particular, the current national socio-economic study of recreational fishing 

Gone Fishing Day

Labor will continue to support National Gone Fishing Day.