$30 Million Better Boating Fund For Victoria

The Victorian Government will deliver on its promise to reinvest boating fees directly back into the industry, with a new dedicated fund set to invest millions of dollars back into boating each year.

The Better Boating Fund will ensure every cent of the approximately $30 million of boat licensing and registration fees collected each year goes towards improving boating for all Victorians.

Legislation introduced into Parliament yesterday will create the Fund, which will be dedicated to priorities including recreational boating facilities and boating safety and education across the state.

The Fund will also ensure there is more transparency for boaters to see where their licence and registration fees go.

Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said, “this is landmark legislation which will transform the way the boating industry is managed in Victoria.”

The Victorian Government will develop a strategy to determine the priorities for investment and this strategy will be co-designed with key boating stakeholders.

The development of the strategy will be a priority once the legislation has been introduced and there will be opportunities for public engagement throughout the process.

The Government has already abolished all boat ramp parking and launching fees, saving families up to $315 a year on annual parking permits.

A major $40 million investment is also going towards upgrading six priority boat ramps across the state. Work is underway at the Hastings boat ramp and Cowes Jetty, and planning for the upgrades of Mordialloc, Queenscliff, Point Richards and Rhyll boating facilities is progressing.

Boat ramps and jetties are also now open thanks to an easing of coronavirus restrictions, and people can go fishing and boating within five kilometres of home for a maximum of two hours.

A limit of either one household or a maximum of five people from two households can go out together as long participants can safely socially distance and wear a face mask.

Recreational boating supports more than 20,000 jobs and is worth almost $8 billion a year to the Victorian economy, with the number of boating registrations increasing by 2.5 per cent on average each year over the past eight years.