Commercial and recreational activity in and around Victoria’s bays and waterways (also known as the ‘blue economy’) is a significant contributor to the Victorian economy.
With 2,500km of coastline, over 120 bays, inlets and estuaries, over 85,000km of rivers and 13,000km of natural wetlands, Victoria has a substantial resource and opportunity to grow and expand the blue economy. Recreational boating is estimated to contribute $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy each year. This is underpinned by 193,000 registered boat owners, 1 million boating participants annually and 17,700 full-time jobs. In addition, recreational fishing generates a combined direct and indirect contribution of more than $7.1 billion per year and accounts for 33,967 full-time jobs.
An elected Liberal Nationals will establish a Blue Infrastructure Fund, representing a commitment to reinvest the proceeds of marine regulated fee revenue into boating infrastructure. The Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves access to Victoria’s waterways, meeting growing demand in key growth areas, including Port Phillip Bay and Lake Eildon, and will be administered by the Minister for Infrastructure.