FISHING communities across Australia, including Bribie Island, have been side-swiped by the announcement that a compulsory boat levy will no longer be used to fund community fishing initiatives, FFSAQ president Robin Caddy said.
Previously, a portion of registration payments known as the Recreational Use Fee (RUF) was allocated to contribute towards the enhancement of recreational fishing in Queensland.
The revenue, which equated to about $4.4 million annually, was partly used to grow fishing within the community, with initiatives such as freshwater fish stocking grants, kids' fishing days, fish-care volunteers, fish tagging projects and recreational research.
Now, to the disdain of many boaties, Mr Caddy said those programs have been scrapped, with the money to be used solely to fund the general administration of Fisheries Queensland.
"The LNP government has shown a total disregard and respect to a funding initiative that used to contribute towards the enhancement of recreational fishing in Queensland," he said.
"The revenue derived from the fee is being allocated to the general administration of Fisheries Queensland, and not for recreational fishing purposes."
Greg Smoothy, owner of chandlery services at the Spinnaker Sound Marina, was unaware of the move when contacted.
"I didn't even know this has happened, which is greatly disappointing," he said.
"We were told by the LNP that administration costs were being cut, so why would they need more money for admin?"
Sunfish Queensland executive officer Judy Lynn said the funding cuts would have a ripple effect that would be felt throughout Queensland's fishing community.
"With all the community funds regarding fishing cut, it's going to really hurt fishing in Queensland," she said.
"Other states place such funds in a licensed trust to be used for the types of things that the Queensland fishing community no longer has access to."
Member for Pumicestone Lisa France said claims that money had been redirected were false.
"The Newman Government fully supports recreational fishing in Queensland," she said.
"The claims that the State Government has cut or redirected $2 million in funding from the Recreational Use Fee (RUF) for non-recreational fishing use are simply not true.
"The Newman Government's overall expenditure this year on recreational fisheries management and activities will in fact be in excess of $10 million."