Victoria’s waterways are weekend playgrounds to millions of Victorians.
That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will create a Blue Infrastructure Fund to provide first-class infrastructure and services for recreational water users like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks and cleaning tables.
At the moment, Victorian boat users pay significant fees to the State Government every year but only a portion of that money is invested into better infrastructure and services for water users.
Under a Liberal Nationals Government, the Blue Infrastructure Fund will return all proceeds of collected boating fees into improving the facilities for the boating community.
Boating users raise significant revenue for the Victorian Government through boat licensing and other financial arrangements. In 2016/17 the Andrews Labor Government returned just 11.6 per cent of the $27.7 million annual boating revenue on boating infrastructure. The $3.23 million spent by Labor compares to investment in NSW of $17 million and in Queensland of $15 million annually.
The Blue Infrastructure Fund will invest in infrastructure like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting and onshore facilities that improves access, enjoyment and protection to Victoria’s waterways.
A Liberal Nationals Government will appoint the Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne (VPCM) to manage marine infrastructure development in the state. The VPCM has the appropriate expertise to oversee and coordinate all planning, funding, construction and maintenance of marine infrastructure in Victoria. This is modelled on the NSW system.
Recreational boating is estimated to contribute $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year. This is underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants annually and 17,700 full-time jobs.
In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for over 30,000 full-time jobs.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“Victoria’s waterways are weekend playgrounds to millions of Victorians which is why we want to build better facilities for water users to enjoy.
The Liberal Nationals will deliver a fair go for boaties and recreational fishers by making sure their license and other fees are spent on upgrading and building things like more boat ramps, jetties, navigational lighting as well as onshore facilities such as bigger car parks.
This investment will be right throughout our state – from our bays and coast to our inland lakes and waterways.
The Port Phillip and Western Port regions are home to millions of Victorians so protecting this natural asset and developing the facilities for people to use and enjoy is a key focus for me.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, David Hodgett:
“Port Phillip Bay is one of Victoria’s best assets and we must do everything we can to manage and protect it.
A failure to plan for its future is a plan for failure.
This election there will be a clear choice for waterway users.
Daniel Andrews and Labor have no plan to protect and enhance our waterways and that’s a problem for our bay communities.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Carrum, Donna Bauer:
“Port Phillip Bay has been my family’s weekend playground for years and I am passionate about its future.
I’ve been working with Matthew and our team on this plan and if I am elected then enhancing the recreational facilities and protecting Port Phillip Bay will be one of my key jobs.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Mordialloc, Geoff Gledhill:
“The Liberal Nationals plan for a Blue Infrastructure Fund is game changer for our area.
This is going to protect our unique and much loved environmental asset but also be a boost for tourism income and more local jobs.
This plan looks to preserve and protect the Bay for the enjoyment of all Victorians, now and into the future.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Frankston, Michael Lamb:
“When it comes to protecting and developing Port Phillip Bay, I give a damn.
That’s why our Liberal team are creating a Blue Infrastructure Fund to provide first-class facilities for future generations to enjoy.
This will help with more investment in local boating infrastructure projects and that means more visitors, boat users and more local jobs.
If you are like me, and give a damn about our bay, please join us to protect and develop this beautiful asset.”