Anglers to Face the Brunt of 1000% Fine Increases

DELWP are taking the unusual step of ‘throwing the book’ at unsuspecting recreational users on licensed crown land water frontage, with fines set to increase by a whopping 1000%.

Fines will rise from $31.70 to $792.85 for some infringements, and up to $3171.40 for court imposed penalties under proposed changes to the Land Amendment Regulations 2017.

VRFish, the Recreational Fishing Peak Body representing over 838,000 Victorian fishers, is staunchly standing up for the rights of recreational anglers by strongly opposing these heavy-handed tactics.

VRFish Chairman, Mr. Rob Loats says, “It’s absurd to think we could be facing massive fines, yet our anglers have no way of knowing they are entering licenced water frontage crown land.”

“There are no practical means such as signs or markers to notify us what type of land we are entering to reach our favourite fishing spot, whether by foot or by boat,”

VRFish believes rivers and waterways are a community asset that should be managed for enjoyment by all Victorians.

Anglers who light a campfire to cook their catch, collect wood for their campfire, dig for fishing bait or take their dog on their family fishing trips are all at risk of large fines under this proposal.

“In this situation grazing livestock have more rights than our anglers. In fact, anglers are arguably the biggest supporters of riparian and in-stream habitat,” he said.

In addition, all available research shows that increasing fines is not a deterrent when the risk of being detected is low.

VRFish believes where more effort is required is in increased monitoring and compliance of licence conditions as recommended by Coroner Jamieson in 2014.

According to DELWP, Crown land water frontage is a thin strip of 20 to 100 metres of Crown land that adjoins designated rivers and streams and can be licenced by the owner/occupier of the adjoining private land for grazing and/or riparian management purposes.

A copy of VRFish’s submission is available here.

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