'WIN-WIN': Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson says the majority of people who took part in public consultation supported the change.
'WIN-WIN': Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson says the majority of people who took part in public consultation supported the change. Bruce Miller

LNP slams increase in cost of fishing permits

THE LNP is accusing Labor of ripping off fishing families after it says the State Government has almost tripled the cost of freshwater fishing.

Opposition fisheries spokesman Dale Last said Labor had implemented changes meaning families were now being slugged at least $100 for a fishing permit that cost $36 last year.

But a spokesman for Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson said the comments were misleading.

Mr Dale argued that a pensioner couple was now expected to fork out $72, up from $36, for a permit.

The LNP arrived at this figure because the new fee structure now requires every recreational fisher, over the age of 18, to hold a permit which allows them to fish in a scheme impoundment.

"Be careful if you plan on throwing in a line at one of the state's 63 freshwater dams, especially if you don't have the correct permit," Mr Dale said.

New yearly permit fees were set at a cost of $50 up from $41 for adults, $36 for a concession permit and a weekly permit of $10 up from $8.

Some local anglers had concerns about the increase.

Local fishers David Marriage and Leanne Hulsman said a rise in permits could deter them from fishing in the region in the future if their favourite pastime became too expensive.

A spokesman for Ms Donaldson's office said the reason all people over the age of 18 were required to hold a permit was to prevent misuse of the permits and to ensure that it was a "user-pays system".

"Sixty-three per cent of respondents to the public consultation on the SIPS Regulatory Impact Statement supported this change," he said.

"A minimum 75% of the money received in permits will be directed back into the system."

The government says the money is being used to enhance the stocking program and allows stocking groups to apply to use some of this money to enhance the recreational fishing experience at their local dams and weirs.

"This is a win-win for recreational fishers, local fish stocking groups and regional communities right across Queensland as more and more recreational fishers will come to enjoy world class freshwater fishing in these stocked areas," the spokesman said.

The fee changes came into effect on July 1 and were set for the next five years.



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