Outrage as Regulations Pushed to Ban Kids Fishing in Local Parks

VRFish, the recreational fishing peak body in Victoria, is outraged at proposed regulations by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), set to ban kids and families recreational fishing in metropolitan lakes and rivers.

DELWP has released consultation on proposed Crown Land (Reserves) (Metropolitan and Regional Parks) Regulations. These regulations provide for bans to recreational fishing on specified metropolitan and regional parklands such as Albert Park, Karkarook Park, Werribee River, Lower Yarra River, Maribyrnong River, Patterson River, amongst others.  

According to the consultation document, banning children and families from fishing in metropolitan park lakes and river sections, while imposing a 10-unit penalty, will help ‘ensure the protection of the environment and cultural values to ensure safe and fair enjoyment.’

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, made it clear during the second reading speech for the amending bill introducing the new regulation making power, ‘Good land management includes deterring behaviour that threatens the health of these assets or presents a risk to public safety.’

VRFish Chair, Mr. Rob Loats, said “Families fishing in metropolitan and regional lakes does not increase the risk to public safety nor environment. Recreational fishing in the local lake is a safe and beneficial activity that creates treasured family memories.

“Since 2015, recreational fishers have invested more than $2 million per year of recreational fishing licence fees into recreational fishing initiatives, including to boost family fishing in park lakes.

“This proposal is clearly an attack on recreational fishing and again shows how out of touch Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, is with local community values.”

VRFish is encouraging recreational fishers to email Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Fishing and Boating, Sonya Kilkenny, to inform them that children and families fishing in metropolitan park lakes is a healthy and beneficial activity that should be encouraged not banned. 

Recfishers can view the proposed regulations and have their say by visiting the Engage Victoria website.

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