Beagle Editor, Your readers might be interested in the latest pork barrel announcement by the Prime Minister saying “If re-elected, we are offering $20 million in marine infrastructure grants to improve facilities for fishos, boaties and campers In a livery press appearance at a boating super store on the NSW North Coast in the fringe seat of Robertson, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance this sector of the market brings to local councils, especially those like Eurobodalla located along the coast.Good for regional tourism, creates local jobs and supports small businesses and family businesses.Recreational fishing brings in over $1.8 billion to the economy every year. He went on to say ‘We are also committed to maintaining our strong network of Australian marine parks in its current form, to provide certi tude to our fishermen.”
Please note that last statement and we will see if the NSW Government hears its message.
Although this announcement is only an extension of the $2.1 million grants offered by DPI in January this year 2022 – see the Batemans Bay Boaters Association Facebook post here (https://www.facebook.com /BBoaters), it highlights the commitment of the federal government in this sector. The Batemans Bay Boaters Association speculates that the DPI may have been overwhelmed by the rush for money for boat launches and other facilities and that the Prime Minister ‘read the play’ and offered a huge bucket of cash to support boaters and anglers in this election. I can see the local Liberal candidate from Gilmore spending money on local boat launch improvements to promote his chances in this federal election – sadly he has to go through the local council manager. So don’t expect a lot to deliver. When the Association offered to assist the Eurobodalla Board in highlighting opportunities in the last round of grant funding, it received the standard rejection letter from the Infrastructure Support Coordinator which did not even conducted baseline surveys of previous work that the Association had undertaken since 2015. No information was provided regarding what the Council had requested, if any. The Boaters’ Association again offered to help Council determine where the latest funds might best be applied based on our local boating knowledge, but Council needs the public’s help. The Prime Minister’s press release asks for their help, saying: “If you know of a place that would benefit from new or improved fishing, boating or camping facilities in your area, you can contact your local council to advocate for their application for this programme.” The appropriate telephone number for the Minister’s office is 0408 819 399 Eurobodalla Council’s telephone number is 4471000 Harry Watson Smith Batemans Bay Boaters Association