New Minister for Fishing and Boating

Melissa Horne MP has stepped into the role of Victoria’s new Minister for Fishing and Boating after Premier Andrews announced a Cabinet reshuffle this week. Minister Jaala Pulford who has held the fisheries portfolio since 2014 will take on the areas of Employment, Small Business, Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy.

Over the last 6 years, Minister Jaala Pulford leaves behind a legacy of catapulting recreational fishing in Victoria to new heights and revolutionising the way we fish. Target One Million Phase 1 and Phase 2 has been the envy of Australian fishers with a total of $81 million invested into recreational fishing. It has been a pleasure working Minister Pulford on our shared pursuit of making fishing better for all Victorians.

Minister Pulford oversaw the buyback of commercial nets out of Port Phillip Bay to allow more Victorians to have better access to snapper, whiting and flathead in the Bay and this year proclaimed Gippsland Lakes as a recreational fishing haven.

Fish stocking records have been smashed on the way to an annual target of 10 million and work has started on Victoria’s purpose-built native fish hatchery at Arcadia. Rocklands Reservoir was stocked with native fish for the first time, a recreational trout cod fishery was opened in Beechworth, Lake Toolondo was saved as a premier trout fishery, urban lakes are being stocked with native fish and on-water access has been permitted to reservoirs in our central region. The Victorian Fisheries Authority was also created as a standalone statutory authority.

Jaala’s enthusiasm to fix our boat ramp infrastructure has seen the creation of Better Boating Victoria, free boat ramp parking and plans to ensure every cent of our boating registrations and fees goes back into improving our boating experience.

VRFish looks forward to working diligently with Minister Horne to continue the tremendous momentum we have with recreational fishing improvements and boating reforms in Victoria. Being the local member of Williamstown and Minister for Ports and Freight, we know that she recognises how important our waterways are to all Victorians, including fisher and boaters. We look forward to formally meeting Minister Horne to continue the work of making fishing better for all Victorians.

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