MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education)
I rise today to highlight the importance of the fishing industry to Victoria’s economy, and in particular the role of Portland in Victoria’s south-west.
Portland’s fishing fleet lands up to 40 per cent of Victoria’s catch.
It goes without saying that fishing and aquaculture are crucial to the region and this state. Deepwater trawling for rockling and trevalla, plus southern rock lobster, pippies, squid, gummy shark and abalone diving, explain its importance for local and export markets.
The Andrews Labor government has been pleased to support both the Portland Foreshore Master Plan and the Local Port of Portland Bay’s Marine master plan as part of the state government’s building works program.
Glenelg Shire Council manages the Local Port of Portland Bay, often referred to as the Trawler Wharf, on behalf of the Department of Transport.
Bolstering this local industry has automatic flow-on benefits for all of the associated industries, ranging from fish processing, marine engineering, transport, shipbuilding and maintenance, through to fuelling, and providores in Portland and beyond.
Portland is also a magnet for recreational fishers from all over Australia, making it our recreational southern blue fin capital.
This government has provided over $4 million for facilities to assist this industry in Portland—$3 million in funding to replace the town jetty, with connecting pathways, and an additional $1.2 million to extend the marina and upgrade pontoons at the Trawler Wharf—funding that will not only boost world-class commercial fishing, but also will enhance Portland’s reputation among anglers.
I look forward to the continued growth of this vital industry in the south-west.