House debates

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Statements by Members

Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program

9:33 am

Photo of Peter SlipperPeter Slipper (Fisher, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am particularly pleased today to talk about Australian government funding of close to $100,000—in fact, $97,500—which will be put towards a state-of-the-art fish cleaning station at Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The Maroochy Shire Council facility, to be located near the Parkyn Parade boat ramp, is expected to include a refrigerated bin for fish waste. This will reduce the dumping of fish frames into the Mooloolah River. Of course, as we know, those fish frames can potentially attract sharks, creating problems for the people who use the waterways. Fishing is very popular activity on the Sunshine Coast for both locals and tourists. These new facilities will add an extra level of hygiene and safety to those who wish to clean their catch before they head home or to their accommodation. Importantly, the new facility will also reduce the unwanted problems caused by the dumping of fish waste into the river.

The Mooloolaba fish cleaning station is among 110 projects across the nation that are sharing some $4.4 million from round 5 of the Australian government’s Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program. The Commonwealth contribution of $97,500 will be about 50 per cent of the cost of the facility, and the rest of the cost will be put in by the Maroochy Shire Council, which is also designing the fish cleaning station.

Around $14.1 million has been provided under this program for projects such as boat ramps, fishing platforms, jetties, educational programs, fishing clinics and rescue activities. Groups such as fishing organisations and other community groups and clubs will benefit from the grants, as will keen anglers and those who only fish occasionally. This is not the first of these grants that we have been able to obtain for the electorate of Fisher on the Sunshine Coast. Last October we got close to $40,000—in fact, $39,422—for six new fish cleaning stations at popular Caloundra city fishing sites.

These are dividends to the Australian community from 11 years of sound economic management by the Liberal and National party government. We would not be able to put in these positive community initiatives if we had not been able to grasp the nettle, repay Labor’s debt and manage the economy well. I know that the member for Moncrieff, which is on the Gold Coast, shares my sentiments with respect to that because I know that fishing is also a recreational activity in his area—but the fish catches there are not as good as those on the Sunshine Coast, which is much more pristine! Having said that, I am very pleased to applaud this Australian government project. It will benefit tourists and locals, and I hope that we will be able to obtain further grants of a similar nature. (Time expired)