Media Centre

WORKS ADVANCING ON BULLOCK ISLAND REDEVELOPMENT

Works are underway to redevelop Bullock Island as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s drive to bring more visitors to Victoria’s east. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas was today joined by representatives from the Lakes Entrance Fishermen Group and East Gippsland Shire Council to tour the works being completed on the island. The Bullock Island Masterplan received $1.87 million through the Building Works Package and is happening alongside the development of an on-water cafe, thanks to the Labor Government’s earlier investment of $1.5 million announced during the lead up to the 2018 state election. A new amenities block has been completed on the western side of the island and a local consultant has been appointed to oversee design development of the recreational areas within the masterplan. The overall project will include upgraded parking access, fishing platforms and visitor facilities such as barbecues and connecting boardwalks. Construction of the Bullock Island on-water cafe will soon begin with a head contractor expected to be announced in coming weeks. The combined projects are expected to generate up to 13 jobs during construction and six ongoing positions at the café when it is operational. Bullock Island is responsible for producing around 3,500 tonnes of seafood and contributes about $40 million to the Victorian economy each year. The new development will support Bullock Island’s transformation as a major tourism attraction and help the region recover from recent challenges associated with drought, bushfires and, more recently, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Both the café and masterplan work are expected to be completed in 2022. The Building Works Package was announced in response to the pandemic and is a $2.7 billion commitment to get thousands of Victorians back to work with shovel-ready projects that provide lasting benefits to communities. Other investments being made across the region include $3 million to help establish the Metung Hot Springs, $1 million for the Nunduk Spa and Eco-Resort, $1.1 million to redevelop the Paynesville seafront as well as additional funding for the Lake Entrance Slipway, Riviera Nautic and Raymond Island Koala Sanctuary. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “These investments will help Bullock Island to capitalise on its unique maritime traditions, attracting thousands of new visitors by improving tourism infrastructure and at the same time, creating local jobs.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Gippsland Lakes are a jewel in Victoria’s east and it’s exciting to see progress underway in this region – including at Bullock Island which is the gateway to Lakes Entrance.”

WORKS ADVANCING ON BULLOCK ISLAND REDEVELOPMENT

Works are underway to redevelop Bullock Island as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s drive to bring more visitors to Victoria’s east. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas was today joined by representatives from the Lakes Entrance Fishermen Group and East Gippsland Shire Council to tour the works being completed on the island. The Bullock Island Masterplan received $1.87 million through the Building Works Package and is happening alongside the development of an on-water cafe, thanks to the Labor Government’s earlier investment of $1.5 million announced during the lead up to the 2018 state election. A new amenities block has been completed on the western side of the island and a local consultant has been appointed to oversee design development of the recreational areas within the masterplan. The overall project will include upgraded parking access, fishing platforms and visitor facilities such as barbecues and connecting boardwalks. Construction of the Bullock Island on-water cafe will soon begin with a head contractor expected to be announced in coming weeks. The combined projects are expected to generate up to 13 jobs during construction and six ongoing positions at the café when it is operational. Bullock Island is responsible for producing around 3,500 tonnes of seafood and contributes about $40 million to the Victorian economy each year. The new development will support Bullock Island’s transformation as a major tourism attraction and help the region recover from recent challenges associated with drought, bushfires and, more recently, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Both the café and masterplan work are expected to be completed in 2022. The Building Works Package was announced in response to the pandemic and is a $2.7 billion commitment to get thousands of Victorians back to work with shovel-ready projects that provide lasting benefits to communities. Other investments being made across the region include $3 million to help establish the Metung Hot Springs, $1 million for the Nunduk Spa and Eco-Resort, $1.1 million to redevelop the Paynesville seafront as well as additional funding for the Lake Entrance Slipway, Riviera Nautic and Raymond Island Koala Sanctuary. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “These investments will help Bullock Island to capitalise on its unique maritime traditions, attracting thousands of new visitors by improving tourism infrastructure and at the same time, creating local jobs.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Gippsland Lakes are a jewel in Victoria’s east and it’s exciting to see progress underway in this region – including at Bullock Island which is the gateway to Lakes Entrance.”

METUNG HOT SPRINGS PREPARE TO OPEN IN TIME FOR SUMMER

Australia’s first hot springs golf course - featuring a “glamping village” - will open in Metung later this year, after a $3 million injection by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today joined the team behind the project, local tourism business operators Adrian and Rachel Bromage, and Charles Davidson from Peninsula Hot Springs to tour the exciting new development. The Labor Government has invested $3 million towards the project through the Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package and the Victorian and Federal Government's Local Economic Recovery program which supports bushfire-affected areas of Victoria. Construction on the project will begin in the coming months with the first stage expected to be complete by the end of the year. Stage one will include a glamping village, thermal bathing pools and tubs, a sauna and plunge pool on the escarpment, glamping accommodation, dome day lounges and walking trails. A collaboration with Metung’s Kings Cove Golf Club will pioneer Australia’s first hot springs golf course, with bathing and wellness facilities to be constructed adjacent to the existing clubhouse. Water from the hot springs will also be used to irrigate the golf club, helping them to meet their water requirements. This project is expected to generate up to 20 new permanent jobs in its first year and a further 10 during construction, with later stages expected to create further employment and training opportunities. The hot springs will be heated using a deep bore geothermal heating system that taps into an aquifer more than 500 metres below ground where the water is 45 degrees. Other tourism investments being made across the region include $3.85 million to provide better access to Point Hicks Lighthouse, $3.5 million for a community-led restoration of the historic timber trestle Snowy Rail Bridge and $350,000 to help the koala trail at Raymond Island accommodate more visitors. These funding commitments build on an existing group of Victorian government investments across East Gippsland, through the Gippsland Recovery Tourism Package, which will improve infrastructure and increase employment and education pathways, particularly for young people. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “The Metung Hot Springs is another example of how we are backing a project that promises to bring long-term economic benefits to our regions, making them an even better place to live, work and invest.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “This development is leading the way by showing what is possible for new year-round regional tourism experiences and I’m excited to see this project reach completion.”

METUNG HOT SPRINGS PREPARE TO OPEN IN TIME FOR SUMMER

Australia’s first hot springs golf course - featuring a “glamping village” - will open in Metung later this year, after a $3 million injection by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas today joined the team behind the project, local tourism business operators Adrian and Rachel Bromage, and Charles Davidson from Peninsula Hot Springs to tour the exciting new development. The Labor Government has invested $3 million towards the project through the Gippsland Tourism Recovery Package and the Victorian and Federal Government's Local Economic Recovery program which supports bushfire-affected areas of Victoria. Construction on the project will begin in the coming months with the first stage expected to be complete by the end of the year. Stage one will include a glamping village, thermal bathing pools and tubs, a sauna and plunge pool on the escarpment, glamping accommodation, dome day lounges and walking trails. A collaboration with Metung’s Kings Cove Golf Club will pioneer Australia’s first hot springs golf course, with bathing and wellness facilities to be constructed adjacent to the existing clubhouse. Water from the hot springs will also be used to irrigate the golf club, helping them to meet their water requirements. This project is expected to generate up to 20 new permanent jobs in its first year and a further 10 during construction, with later stages expected to create further employment and training opportunities. The hot springs will be heated using a deep bore geothermal heating system that taps into an aquifer more than 500 metres below ground where the water is 45 degrees. Other tourism investments being made across the region include $3.85 million to provide better access to Point Hicks Lighthouse, $3.5 million for a community-led restoration of the historic timber trestle Snowy Rail Bridge and $350,000 to help the koala trail at Raymond Island accommodate more visitors. These funding commitments build on an existing group of Victorian government investments across East Gippsland, through the Gippsland Recovery Tourism Package, which will improve infrastructure and increase employment and education pathways, particularly for young people. Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas “The Metung Hot Springs is another example of how we are backing a project that promises to bring long-term economic benefits to our regions, making them an even better place to live, work and invest.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “This development is leading the way by showing what is possible for new year-round regional tourism experiences and I’m excited to see this project reach completion.”

PORT WELSHPOOL WHARF REBUILD TO IMPROVE SAFETY

The Victorian Government is supporting local jobs and the economy by improving facilities in Port Welshpool with the rebuild of the loading and unloading section of Marginal Wharf to improve safety for all users. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett said the rebuild works to improve the Port Welshpool Marginal Wharf deck are now underway to make the loading dock safer at this commercial fishing and tour operator location. Works to improve the condition of the wharf include replacing a section of deck beams and planks as well as piles that support the wharf. On-site work is underway to replace a section of the wharf which has deteriorated with age, exposure to a marine environment and usage. The loading and unloading section of the wharf will be closed during the works. Alternative arrangements have been made with the commercial fisherman impacted by the works. The work is scheduled to be complete by September 2021. The pier rebuild will be delivered under a $3.2 million Pier and Jetty Maintenance package that has already seen the construction of a brand new all-abilities jetty at Tooradin and will also include improvements at Portland and Rye, funded under the $2.7 billion economic stimulus Building Works initiative. Other works funded under the initiative include a $9.6 million upgrade at Portarlington Pier, and repairs to Middle Brighton Pier and the Queenscliff South Pier lifeboat shed. More information on these projects can be found at transport.vic.gov.au/our-transport-future/ourprojects/upgrading-piers-and-jetties Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “Port Welshpool is at the heart of South Gippsland’s foreshore. This critical rebuild will improve the marginal wharf and support the commercial fishing industry and tour operators in the region.” “We are committed to investing in regional communities while we continue to work to address the longer-term impacts of Coronavirus on our state.”

PORT WELSHPOOL WHARF REBUILD TO IMPROVE SAFETY

The Victorian Government is supporting local jobs and the economy by improving facilities in Port Welshpool with the rebuild of the loading and unloading section of Marginal Wharf to improve safety for all users. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett said the rebuild works to improve the Port Welshpool Marginal Wharf deck are now underway to make the loading dock safer at this commercial fishing and tour operator location. Works to improve the condition of the wharf include replacing a section of deck beams and planks as well as piles that support the wharf. On-site work is underway to replace a section of the wharf which has deteriorated with age, exposure to a marine environment and usage. The loading and unloading section of the wharf will be closed during the works. Alternative arrangements have been made with the commercial fisherman impacted by the works. The work is scheduled to be complete by September 2021. The pier rebuild will be delivered under a $3.2 million Pier and Jetty Maintenance package that has already seen the construction of a brand new all-abilities jetty at Tooradin and will also include improvements at Portland and Rye, funded under the $2.7 billion economic stimulus Building Works initiative. Other works funded under the initiative include a $9.6 million upgrade at Portarlington Pier, and repairs to Middle Brighton Pier and the Queenscliff South Pier lifeboat shed. More information on these projects can be found at transport.vic.gov.au/our-transport-future/ourprojects/upgrading-piers-and-jetties Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “Port Welshpool is at the heart of South Gippsland’s foreshore. This critical rebuild will improve the marginal wharf and support the commercial fishing industry and tour operators in the region.” “We are committed to investing in regional communities while we continue to work to address the longer-term impacts of Coronavirus on our state.”

WORK STARTS ON WESTERN PORT SECONDARY COLLEGE UPGRADE

Students at Western Port Secondary College are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today announced that ARM Architecture has been appointed to design the school’s $11.56 million upgrade. The upgrade will see the modernisation of school, working with school leaders to ensure this work helps achieve their educational goals and that improvements targeted where it is needed most. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. The Victorian Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “We’re making sure that our schools have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Western Port families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive.”

WORK STARTS ON WESTERN PORT SECONDARY COLLEGE UPGRADE

Students at Western Port Secondary College are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today announced that ARM Architecture has been appointed to design the school’s $11.56 million upgrade. The upgrade will see the modernisation of school, working with school leaders to ensure this work helps achieve their educational goals and that improvements targeted where it is needed most. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. The Victorian Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “We’re making sure that our schools have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Western Port families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive.”

 

NEW OUTDOOR SENSORY AREA FOR TYABB STUDENTS

Works have begun on a new outdoor sensory area as part of a $200,000 upgrade to make Tyabb Railway Station Primary School more inclusive. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today welcomed the start construction made possible by funding through the Inclusive Schools Fund. The Inclusive Schools Fund builds on the unprecedented investment of nearly $1.6 billion in the state budget to support students with a disability or additional needs and is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to inclusive education. An additional $20 million was announced in the 2020-21 State Budget as part of the Victorian Government’s $60 million Inclusive Schools Fund. Since its inception in 2015, the Fund has supported 234 creative projects to build inclusive indoor and outdoor learning spaces as well as accessible playgrounds have been announced. Inclusive education is about ensuring that all students, regardless of disabilities or other differences, can fully participate, learn, develop and succeed in Victorian government schools. The Victorian Government is building the Education State to ensure every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Strengthening inclusive education for all students, including those with disabilities and additional learning needs, is fundamental to an equitable and excellent school system. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “This new space will make a real difference to students at Tyabb Railway Station Primary School, who will get the benefits of new inclusive spaces to cater for a wider range of options for teaching and learning.” “As we build the Education State, we’re continuing to invest in schools to ensure students of all abilities can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.”

NEW OUTDOOR SENSORY AREA FOR TYABB STUDENTS

Works have begun on a new outdoor sensory area as part of a $200,000 upgrade to make Tyabb Railway Station Primary School more inclusive. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today welcomed the start construction made possible by funding through the Inclusive Schools Fund. The Inclusive Schools Fund builds on the unprecedented investment of nearly $1.6 billion in the state budget to support students with a disability or additional needs and is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to inclusive education. An additional $20 million was announced in the 2020-21 State Budget as part of the Victorian Government’s $60 million Inclusive Schools Fund. Since its inception in 2015, the Fund has supported 234 creative projects to build inclusive indoor and outdoor learning spaces as well as accessible playgrounds have been announced. Inclusive education is about ensuring that all students, regardless of disabilities or other differences, can fully participate, learn, develop and succeed in Victorian government schools. The Victorian Government is building the Education State to ensure every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Strengthening inclusive education for all students, including those with disabilities and additional learning needs, is fundamental to an equitable and excellent school system. In the past five years, the Victorian Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “This new space will make a real difference to students at Tyabb Railway Station Primary School, who will get the benefits of new inclusive spaces to cater for a wider range of options for teaching and learning.” “As we build the Education State, we’re continuing to invest in schools to ensure students of all abilities can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.”

NEW PROJECTS BOOST VICTORIAN TOURISM INDUSTRY AND JOBS

The enviable tourism offering of the Gippsland has been given a further boost, with the Victorian Government committing $1.97 million towards two projects in Gippsland, at Gabo Island and Foster. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today welcomed funding for these exciting projects as part of the $46 million Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round aimed at delivering a charge to the visitor economy while we continue our steady recovery from the global pandemic. $1.5 million has been provided for the Gabo Island Light House Accommodation Upgrade. This project will involve the refurbishment of accommodation and visitor facilities to create a unique wildlife viewing experience and potential for a Victorian lighthouse accommodation trail. $470,000 has been provided for the Gurneys "The Arches" Experience, Foster. As the world's largest underground cider cellar, this project will allow Gurneys Cider in Foster to increase annual product production, which will have significant positive flow on effects on broader tourism including attracting an additional 25,000 visitors to the region per year. The Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round will support the development of 30 projects across the state. It forms part of the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package and delivers the first infrastructure outcome of the program after the resounding success of the Melbourne and regional travel voucher schemes. To see a complete list of projects supported by the fund’s stimulus round, visit djpr.vic.gov.au/significantprojects/regional-tourism-investment-fund. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “Our A-grade tourism offering will go to the next level with these exciting works.” “The government is well aware of the impacts of coronavirus on the tourism sector – that’s why we are investing to ensure it continues to rebound.” “These works will provide crucial jobs in construction while bolstering our region’s tourism appeal and bolstering jobs into the future.

NEW PROJECTS BOOST VICTORIAN TOURISM INDUSTRY AND JOBS

The enviable tourism offering of the Gippsland has been given a further boost, with the Victorian Government committing $1.97 million towards two projects in Gippsland, at Gabo Island and Foster. Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett today welcomed funding for these exciting projects as part of the $46 million Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round aimed at delivering a charge to the visitor economy while we continue our steady recovery from the global pandemic. $1.5 million has been provided for the Gabo Island Light House Accommodation Upgrade. This project will involve the refurbishment of accommodation and visitor facilities to create a unique wildlife viewing experience and potential for a Victorian lighthouse accommodation trail. $470,000 has been provided for the Gurneys "The Arches" Experience, Foster. As the world's largest underground cider cellar, this project will allow Gurneys Cider in Foster to increase annual product production, which will have significant positive flow on effects on broader tourism including attracting an additional 25,000 visitors to the region per year. The Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round will support the development of 30 projects across the state. It forms part of the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package and delivers the first infrastructure outcome of the program after the resounding success of the Melbourne and regional travel voucher schemes. To see a complete list of projects supported by the fund’s stimulus round, visit djpr.vic.gov.au/significantprojects/regional-tourism-investment-fund. Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett “Our A-grade tourism offering will go to the next level with these exciting works.” “The government is well aware of the impacts of coronavirus on the tourism sector – that’s why we are investing to ensure it continues to rebound.” “These works will provide crucial jobs in construction while bolstering our region’s tourism appeal and bolstering jobs into the future.

MAJOR BOOST FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES IN EASTERN VICTORIA

The Victorian Government has invested $1,531,944 in emergency services in Eastern Victoria to provide essential operational equipment, vehicles, appliances and minor facility improvements for local volunteers. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced local Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victorian State Emergency Service (VICSES), Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) units would receive additional funding to help protect their local community. The investment is part of the Government’s 2020-21 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) which is providing more than $14 million to 240 grant recipients across Victoria. The annual grants program gives volunteer emergency service groups the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $150,000 to purchase equipment including vehicles, trucks, tankers, watercraft and trailers, and for minor improvements including refurbishments and amenities, such as kitchens and change rooms. The Government matches every $1 paid by volunteer groups with a $2 co-contribution. For more information about the VESEP, visit the Emergency Management Victoria website – emv.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson “We’re ensuring our emergency service volunteers are well resourced with the essential equipment they need to carry out their critical work.” “Emergency service volunteers make selfless and brave contributions to local communities and the broader Victorian community – and the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program supports their ongoing dedication to keeping Victorians safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “These important projects will give our hardworking CFA, VICSES, LSV and MSAR volunteers the equipment and amenities needed to effectively carry out their duties.” “I’d like to thank all of our volunteer groups for their hard work and congratulate the successful applicants in the 2019-20 round of VESEP grants.” See link for a list of recipients. 

MAJOR BOOST FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES IN EASTERN VICTORIA

The Victorian Government has invested $1,531,944 in emergency services in Eastern Victoria to provide essential operational equipment, vehicles, appliances and minor facility improvements for local volunteers. Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today announced local Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victorian State Emergency Service (VICSES), Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) units would receive additional funding to help protect their local community. The investment is part of the Government’s 2020-21 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) which is providing more than $14 million to 240 grant recipients across Victoria. The annual grants program gives volunteer emergency service groups the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $150,000 to purchase equipment including vehicles, trucks, tankers, watercraft and trailers, and for minor improvements including refurbishments and amenities, such as kitchens and change rooms. The Government matches every $1 paid by volunteer groups with a $2 co-contribution. For more information about the VESEP, visit the Emergency Management Victoria website – emv.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson “We’re ensuring our emergency service volunteers are well resourced with the essential equipment they need to carry out their critical work.” “Emergency service volunteers make selfless and brave contributions to local communities and the broader Victorian community – and the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program supports their ongoing dedication to keeping Victorians safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “These important projects will give our hardworking CFA, VICSES, LSV and MSAR volunteers the equipment and amenities needed to effectively carry out their duties.” “I’d like to thank all of our volunteer groups for their hard work and congratulate the successful applicants in the 2019-20 round of VESEP grants.” See link for a list of recipients. 

DUSKY FLATHEAD STOCKING HELPS BRING BACK THE LAKES

The Gippsland Lakes are another step closer to being back to a recreational fishing mecca with a Victorian-first stocking of 42,000 dusky flathead fingerlings at Metung and Lakes Entrance this week. Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said stocking the Lakes with popular species such as dusky flathead was a key part of the Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery Plan, launched in January. The Plan was developed following the end of commercial net fishing in the Lakes last year, which was a flagship commitment of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment to get more people recreational fishing, more often in more places. The three-year trial dusky flathead stocking program run by the Victorian Fisheries Authority is a result of input from local fishing groups and key stakeholders, aimed at boosting populations of an icon species in Victoria’s eastern estuaries including Bemm River which was also stocked for the first time with 5,000 dusky flathead. In January, dusky flathead broodfish were captured at Mallacoota with help from volunteers including the Mallacoota and District Angling Club. As part of the collection process, DNA samples from across East Gippsland were gathered to map the genetic structure of dusky flathead stocks along the east coast. The broodfish were then transported to a marine hatchery where they spawned. The larvae have grown to fingerlings size in the months since and are now ready for release into the wild. A record 8 million fish will be stocked by April this year, with 10 million to be released in 2022. Some of these fish were Australian bass and estuary perch, released into tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes in December. Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne “This Victorian-first trial to stock dusky flathead into the Gippsland Lakes is a big step towards returning the Lakes to their former glory for recreational fishers.” “We know recreational fishing contributes significantly to the local economy, so having better fisheries for key species like dusky flathead, will mean more money flowing into Gippsland businesses that depend on tourism.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “This is another step towards revitalising our Gippsland Lakes which are an iconic destination for fishers around the State and will also provide an economic boost to the entire region.”

DUSKY FLATHEAD STOCKING HELPS BRING BACK THE LAKES

The Gippsland Lakes are another step closer to being back to a recreational fishing mecca with a Victorian-first stocking of 42,000 dusky flathead fingerlings at Metung and Lakes Entrance this week. Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said stocking the Lakes with popular species such as dusky flathead was a key part of the Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery Plan, launched in January. The Plan was developed following the end of commercial net fishing in the Lakes last year, which was a flagship commitment of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment to get more people recreational fishing, more often in more places. The three-year trial dusky flathead stocking program run by the Victorian Fisheries Authority is a result of input from local fishing groups and key stakeholders, aimed at boosting populations of an icon species in Victoria’s eastern estuaries including Bemm River which was also stocked for the first time with 5,000 dusky flathead. In January, dusky flathead broodfish were captured at Mallacoota with help from volunteers including the Mallacoota and District Angling Club. As part of the collection process, DNA samples from across East Gippsland were gathered to map the genetic structure of dusky flathead stocks along the east coast. The broodfish were then transported to a marine hatchery where they spawned. The larvae have grown to fingerlings size in the months since and are now ready for release into the wild. A record 8 million fish will be stocked by April this year, with 10 million to be released in 2022. Some of these fish were Australian bass and estuary perch, released into tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes in December. Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne “This Victorian-first trial to stock dusky flathead into the Gippsland Lakes is a big step towards returning the Lakes to their former glory for recreational fishers.” “We know recreational fishing contributes significantly to the local economy, so having better fisheries for key species like dusky flathead, will mean more money flowing into Gippsland businesses that depend on tourism.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “This is another step towards revitalising our Gippsland Lakes which are an iconic destination for fishers around the State and will also provide an economic boost to the entire region.”