Fish hatchery pledged

By Country News

The Liberal-National Coalition has pledged $7million to build a fish hatchery in the Shepparton region if it wins the Victorian election on November 24.

State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell made the announcement on November 15 alongside Liberal candidate for Shepparton Cheryl Hammer and Nationals candidate for Shepparton Peter Schwarz on the banks of the Goulburn River in Shepparton.

Ms Lovell said the fish hatchery would provide fingerlings and more mature fish to be released into rivers.

The Coalition announcement comes on the back of a similar pledge from Labor last month, which also announced $7million for a fish hatchery in the Greater Shepparton region.

Ms Lovell said with only one fish hatchery in Victoria, Shepparton was the ideal location to build a new one that would provide more local jobs, and also boost recreational fishing and tourism.

Mr Schwarz said current fingerling imports from NSW were also going to Asia.

‘‘So to have a supply here — we’ve got the perfect environment, we’ve got the temperature, got the water — so having it here in this electorate, it’s just a great boost.’’

Ms Hammer said the plan would help increase tourism.

‘‘It will create jobs but it will also be a real boost to attracting people to our area.’’

Shepparton’s Trelly’s Tackle World fishing store owner Steve Threlfall welcomed the announcement.

‘‘For us, it’s a really, really big leap forward for recreational fishing,’’ he said.

‘‘It will benefit native fishing all over Victoria.’’

—Laura Briggs