Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

(Article for publication)

Massive hikes for boating registration, new bag limits

The Victorian state government has announced sweeping changes that will see boat registration fees aligned with vehicle registration fees.  Registering the family tinny will now cost just under $700 a year. 

The government says the money is needed to help fund new programs such as bringing the New York ballet to Melbourne, October’s city wide whale-shaped balloon exhibition and a spa development in Brunswick.

A new state wide boat levy of $15 will apply each time a boat is launched and the government is reviewing bag limits which could see the possession limit reduced from 45 fish per day to just 11.  Some species are set to become ‘no take’.

These changes are due to be announced next week following a deal with the Greens, who promised preference deals to ensure the Napthine government survives November’s state election.

The implications for us boaties and anglers are dire.  If we don’t fight, we’ll lose the things we love to do.

Our kids will never experience the things we grew up with when we were kids.


Ok, you can stop panicking now.  There is no change to the cost of registering a boat.  The bag limit hasn’t changed (at least not yet).  There is no ramp levy.

Instead I wound the clock forward to get your attention on the way politics works.   I hope it worked.

We’re safe for now.  However what you just read will be played out if we simply got back to voting for the Coalition or Labor without thinking about the deals they will cut with the Greens and other political extremists to win the next election.

Don’t forget, it was the Labor and Coalition MPs who started the fights we’ve been having over the years. The Mako shark ban, life jacket rules, the introduction of marine parks and now the paralysis that is our boat ramps are a product of their “anything to hold onto power” morality. 

Just look at their record – Labor exchanged preferences with the Greens at the last federal election.  It was Liberal preferences that led to the Greens Adam Bandt winning the seat of Melbourne. 

It doesn’t matter which government we have, the future of boating and fishing is not safe.

In early 2013, the Republican Senators in North Carolina in the US proposed boat registration fee hikes of around 750%.  This was eventually reduced to “just” 200% but was still a fight boat owners had no say in.

What do you want to do – be a lame duck and let it happen?  Or fight?

We need to ensure the Greens don’t get a stronger foothold in parliament.    We need to ensure the ideologues running the state do not have a stronger influence than they have now.

We need to make sure the people we elect understand what our needs are.

They need to understand people like you have kids and that we want every kid to have the same opportunities we had when we were kids.   The New York ballet can stay in New York.  I like to go fishing. I love to have a beer afterwards and don’t want some pathetic excuse for an MP trying to take that away from me.

We’ve got a state election coming up in November. If you vote for the coalition, you will vote against any more investment in boat ramps. If you vote for Labor, your vote will do the same thing – again.

Your kids will suffer.  You will suffer. 

To stop this, and ensure our kids can have a good outdoor future, you need to vote for Country Alliance. 

CA was set up to protect the futures of angling, shooting, four wheel driving, the timber industry and so on.  Our policy is to double the number of boat ramps in Victoria. We want to turn Victoria into a world leader in angling and boating opportunities for us and our kids – but can’t do any of this without your vote.
It has started putting some candidates in place but we need more.   

If the start of this article scared you, then don’t just put it down.  Do something today.  Go to CA’s website at www.countryalliance.org and join up before it’s too late.

Neil Jenkins is the Secretary of the Country Alliance party. 
Follow us on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/countryalliance

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Country Alliance

The polices that the Country Alliance has provide a balanced range of positions designed to harness and grow regional communities, which creates jobs, which is of special importance to young people also voting for the first time. 

In particular, the Country Alliance party is committed to the representation and preservation of the rights and interests of those who live in, work in, or enjoy, rural and regional communities. We believe in equality of access to education, transportation, communication and health care for regional and rural communities. We support freedom of access to the public lands for the responsible pursuit of legitimate employment and recreational activities.  

We believe that the land management policies must be guided by and funded to meet the needs of the communities that live adjacent to public land or who access it for their recreation or livelihood. 

Russell Bate
P: 0425729811
W: www.countryalliance.org


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