Wednesday 6 February, 2019
Mr GEPP (Northern Victoria) (18:35:07): My adjournment is for the Minister for Fishing and Boating, and the action I seek is for the provision of an online facility on the Victorian Fisheries Authority website to enable fishers to check the status of their existing fishing licence. I am a very keen fisherman. Fortunately for the fish in Victoria I am not necessarily a good one, but nonetheless a few weeks ago I was heading out to Lake Eppalock to wet a line and maybe entice a couple of redfin onto a little hook. Heading out I thought, ‘Where’s my licence?’. I went to the website and, lo and behold, there is not any facility there where I can check the status of my licence. So what you do in that circumstance of course is you do not want to run afoul of the law and you buy another one. Inevitably the minute that you buy the other one somebody races out and says, ‘Look what I just found!’. When I raised this with my fellow fishers they said, ‘Well, you’re part of the government, mate. Why don’t you do something to fix it?’. There are many ways you can actually get a licence. You can go to a local tackle store and they will issue a handwritten paper licence, or you can go online to the website. If you purchase a fishing licence for one year or three years online, then they will send you a plastic licence. The fishing authority do a very good deed as well and they follow it up with an email to say that, if approached by the authorities, you can say, ‘Look, I’ve got my licence’, if you have lost the plastic one, of course. That presupposes that you have not already dropped your telephone into the drink as you are fumbling around, sweating nervously trying to find the licence. I do know, from checking jurisdictions around the country, that other state authorities do have the facility for a fisher to go online and check to see if they have got a current licence, and then if they have lost their plastic one they can also renew it at no cost. It would be helpful if this facility were there for people who do go fishing but who might be very lax in terms of remembering where they have placed their licence, even if it is in a very, very, very special and safe spot. I am sure in 10 years I will actually find where that special and safe spot is.