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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 September 2019) . . Page.. 3433 ..

look at this issue and to resolve it in a positive fashion. Young people’s lives are at stake, so we cannot afford to be complacent.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 16 May 2019, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.00): I rise to address the government’s Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill 2019. I will start by making some comments about recreational fishing. Fishing is a popular and legitimate sporting and recreational activity enjoyed by a large number of Canberrans. The most recent national recreational fishing survey estimates that about 3.4 million Australians engage in recreational fishing each year, directly contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy. In 2003 the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that the sector supported about 90,000 Australian jobs. A decade ago the annual turnover of the recreational boating industry was estimated at around $500 million, 60 per cent of which related to fishing.

Recreational fishing is a popular form of outdoor recreation enjoyed by many Australians. About 25 per cent of Australian households have at least one member who participates in recreational fishing. On average, each of these households contains two recreational fishers. Recreational fishing is one of the few forms of nature-based recreation that can be enjoyed throughout childhood, adolescence, adulthood and well into the senior years. It can be enjoyed by people of many cultures and people with a range of abilities. It can be done on your own or in social groups. It can be enjoyed simply by walking down to your local pond or stream or as more of an expedition to a far-flung exotic destination.

Recreational fishing is popular and it contributes economic and social benefits to the Australian economy particularly in regional areas, and Canberra is no exception. It is not easy to get accurate figures on the number of fishers in the ACT since much of the focus of ACT fishers is outside the ACT, including Googong Dam. But one recent piece of data on recreational fishing aggregates ACT data with New South Wales data. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries conducted a recreational fishing survey in 2013-14, which estimated that 849,249 New South Wales and ACT residents participated in fishing in the previous 12 months, a participation rate of 12 per cent.

More males than females fished, with the male participation rate at 17 per cent compared with seven per cent for females. Females were more likely to fish as part of a larger social group. The highest number of fishers were between 30 and 44 years of age, but the highest participation rate of any age group was 20 per cent for five to 14-year-olds.

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