RECENTLY formed regional SA bodyRecFishCENTRAL recently called on the SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis to commit to a full economic assessment of the value of the recreational fishing industry to the state’s economy.
RecFishCENTRAL, which represents more than 300,000 recreational fishers in the state,small businesses, and the tourism and charter industries saidrecreational fishing is worth more than $1.82 billion to the state.
The body was formedin response to the state government’s proposed changes to size, bag and boat limits and will represent members on all recreational fishing issues.
RecFishCENTRAL spokesperson Les Rochester said the figures are based on an extensive survey of recreational fishing in SA undertaken by the University of South Australia.
“This study showed the capital investment in recreational fishing boats and tackle was $1.12 billion and the annual recurrent expenditure of recreational fishers was $350 million,” Rochester said.
“Using the Australian Bureau ofStatistics CPI calculator from 1997 until today those investments in the state are now worth $1.82 billion and $570 million annually.
“State governments around Australia have this information at their fingertips, and it’s continually updated but not here in South Australia.
“When you are about to implement major changes to an industry, you need to know the economic impacts those decisions will have.
State Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell recently said public consultation will determine what new changes the government will impose.
“We all want our grand kids to be able to take their grand kids fishing,” Mr Bignell said.
“The government mustmake regular assessments and listen to the community to ensure the future of this popularpastime.
“We want the valuable insight from people who are out on the water on a regular basis and caninform the government on issues specific to their region.”
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