New Minister for Fishing and Boating

Photo: Minister Kilkenny pictured with VRFish Board member Franz Grasser (middle) and ARFF Chair Russell Conway (left).

Sonya Kilkenny MP has taken on the role of Minister for Fishing and Boating after Premier Daniel Andrews announced a Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday. 

Minister Melissa Horne, who has held the portfolio since 2020, retains the portfolios of consumer affairs, gaming and liquor regulation as well as ports and freight. She will now also oversee the areas of local government and suburban development. 

Over the past two years, Minister Horne has delivered key commitments from the Go Fishing Victoria plan (formerly Target One Million). Minister Horne oversaw the construction of the new native fish hatchery at Arcadia, finalised the commercial netting buy-out from Port Phillip Bay and was the first minister to deliver the full return of recreational boating fees. 

During Minister Horne’s tenure, fish stocking was increased to 10 million fish annually which smashed records at both a state and national level. Another key win for land-based fishers saw critical funding for works on our piers and jetties secured in the recent state budget to ensure safe access to our coastal fisheries. We thank Melissa for her impressive achievements and wish her good luck in her current and new portfolios. 

Sonya Kilkenny MP has been the State member for Carrum since 2014, where our busiest boating facility Launching Way is located. Ahead of the 2018 Victorian election, Minister Kilkenny was involved in the campaign to provide positive outcomes for Victorian boaters. Some of these outcomes included removing boat ramp fees and establishing the Better Boating Fund to reinvest our boating licence and registration fees back into improving our boating facilities.

VRFish welcomes Minister Kilkenny and looks forward to working with our new Minister to continue making our recreational fishing and boating experiences even better across the state. 


Following Minister Lisa Neville’s resignation from Cabinet, Minister Harriet Shing has been appointed as Minister for Water. 

Minister Neville has held the water portfolio since 2014. In that time, she has secured a water allocation for Lake Toolondo to protect our fish stocks, re-opened Dartmouth Pondage to land-based fishing and supported on-water access to several water storages among many other outcomes for Victorian recreational fishers. 

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