Promising Response from Fisheries Minister RE 3 days Licences

I was pleasantly surprised today after writing to the Fisheries and Tourism Minister a few weeks ago to again bring up the subject of short term fishing licences. I wrote to the Ken Bastion about this in 2015 and got some convoluted response that had nothing to do with the issue I’d raise and never followed up on it.

Below is my email and attached is the response which is pretty promising on the face of it:

I would again like to bring up the topic of the fishing licence structure in WA and how badly we are out of step with the other States and Territories. When I last wrote to the Fisheries and Tourism Ministers in 2015, gaining a WA fishing licence was still a manual process however within the last year this process has now been automated and aligned with DoT Direct so the public can now apply for a licence online and print out a copy for proof. There is now no resource impact on the introduction of a 3 day fishing licence in line with other States.

This is a breakdown of the fishing licences in WA:

Western Australia

Recreational Fishing from Boat - $40.00

Rock Lobster - $50.00

Abalone - $50.00

Marron - $50.00

Freshwater Angling - $50.00

Net Fishing (set, haul, throw) - $50.00

I've had a revised look at the other states and this is what you have to pay:



No licence required unless fishing in a stock impoundment:

$10.00 per week

$50.00 per year

$36.00 per year if you are entitled to a discount*


New South Wales

$7 - 3 days

$14 - 1 month

$35 - 1 year

$85 - 3 years

People under the age of 18 are exempt from paying the recreational fishing fee.



3-day licence for $10

28-day licence for $21.20

1-year licence for $37.20 ($34.95 if you buy online)

3-year licence for $100.70 ($95.40 if you buy online).

South Australia

No licence required



Very complicated but 48 hour licence is $24:


Northern Territory

No licence required


Australian Capital Territory

No licence required


I am a boat owner and on an average year I would take out approx. 12 friends and family who do not have a recreational fishing from boat licence (RFFB). They are never willing to pre-purchase a licence for $40 for a single trip out and we end up fishing under the bag limits for my licence. If WA were to implement a $10 short term RFFB licence then WA Fisheries would receive an extra $120 per year from my boat alone. When this is quantified across all boat owners to varying degrees this translates into tens of thousands of dollars of increased revenue that Fisheries WA is not receiving that can be pumped back into further research and initiates aimed at creating a sustainable fishery in WA as well as increased enforcement efforts targeting illegal fishing and crabbing

Country towns like Waroona, Harvey, Bridgetown, Dwellingup (the list goes on) are crying out for domestic tourist dollars especially after the recent Covid-19 economic disaster and the introduction of a 3 day licence would encourage more people from the City to visit and stay in some of our inland country towns to chase some freshwater fish whilst spending money in the local town and helping reduce the redfin perch biomass. Local tourism operators and tackle stores etc could use this as a key activity generator to encourage local tourism to the area.

I am hoping to find someone who is willing to take this issue further to implement a simple change to the fee structure in line with all of the other states which will be a win for anglers, local tourism and for the Department of Fisheries in that there will be an increase in fishing licences taken out bringing significant extra revenue.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

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It makes a lot of sense

Mon, 2020-07-13 16:01

It makes a lot of sense Jackfrost and good onya for your persistance.

Faulkner Family's picture

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 We will just have to wait

Mon, 2020-07-13 16:20

 We will just have to wait and see. Well done for putting it to them 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

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 Maybe just stop ripping us a

Mon, 2020-07-13 16:59

 Maybe just stop ripping us a new arsehole each year with the licenses required.......

Well done though Frosty and good to get a response that quick.

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Early days

Mon, 2020-07-13 18:17

 But a promising start. Ridiculous the amount of money we have to pay over here.


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Good onya mate for making a

Mon, 2020-07-13 20:25

Good onya mate for making a difference. Hopefully the extra funds they may get from a short term licence will go a ways to reducing what we have to pay per year to fish. I really dont want to take away from what youve done but 'maintaining a sustainable fishery' is the go.   Good onya, really good to see someone doing something. Surprised you didnt mention boat ramp fees!


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Very uneven across the Sates and Territories

Mon, 2020-07-13 21:07

 Well done for making the effort. I've used the 3 day licence in NSW occasionally, just to cover a bit of rock fishing over a weekend when passing through. Easy as online.

Those numbers you put up show WA costs way more than anywhere else, but I'm not sure why. I thought maybe the bigger states, with more licensed fishers, might be able to charge less per person to sprea the load, but QLD has around twice the people of WA and SA is much less, yet neighter of them charge a basic fee for saltwater. 

I remember once finding  a similar disparity fo rthe cost of some commercial  marine tickets, like a simple coastal coxswains. WA was charging quite a bit more than other States even though the ticket was national and issued by AMSA. WA Transport simply ent AMSA you paperwork. I think the Departments here are doning a good job with the fisheries, but the bureaucracy seems to have ended up on autopilot, just charging what they can get away with. So,  a good idea to ask them think about  and review it.

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Mon, 2020-07-13 21:20

 Solid effort mate


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Promising responce from fisheries Minister

Tue, 2020-07-14 08:58

 Thank you Jackfrost, great effort by you, we all have to send more corrispondence to the Minister, with the over priced fees we are paying, its not worth paying for our Kid to fish, so what do we do, leave them to run the streets, while we are fishing, But I supose if the Goverment is employing more police to keep an eye on them for us, well that really make sence would you think, reduce the fees, & we can then take them fishing, instead of leting them get into mischif, ay.

    I ws dealing with a Government department once, went 4 months with out a reply from them, so I sent another email, to the minister, with CC premere on it, I got a reply with in 4 Days. cheers Don.

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Tue, 2020-07-14 09:13


Your suggestion has a lot of merit Frosty so well done,

I only hope they don't come back and say the cost of issuing, clerical, etc etc etc may outweigh the benefits.

Glad you got a response so quickly, I emailed the Minister on 2nd April and finally got a response yesterday.

Really hope your idea gets up in full or in part at least, there are many benefits to be gained by this.



Jackfrost80's picture

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Yeah, pretty much unheard of

Tue, 2020-07-14 10:46

Yeah, pretty much unheard of to receive a response from an MLA that quick letalone a Minister. I also emailed the Shadow Ministers for Fisheries and Tourism and he responded to me within days which I have added to the pics above.

Hopefully it leads to a rather small but positive change as I'd love to take the kids out to Waroona for the day but not paying for a full year's licence to catch reddies and it'd be good have my mates have a short term licence before we head out for a day's fish.


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

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Nice one...would bring extra

Tue, 2020-07-14 13:36

Nice one...would bring extra coin for sure.


Such is Life - Ben Cousin 2007

Pescatore70's picture

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this whole issue only

Tue, 2020-07-14 13:57

this whole issue only reaffirms just how behind we are in this State and just how shit our Fisheries Dept is.

I take a few friends out occasionally and I can hardly say to them "Oh by the way, before we head out can you go online and cough up for a $40 licence that you will probably never use again or have no use for as we don't catch anything worthwhile"

ridiculous law....

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Would love it if they offered

Tue, 2020-07-14 15:36

Would love it if they offered a 3 year or 5 year option like drivers licence.


Then don't have to worry about renewing each year.

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Date Joined: 29/04/18

 Good one frosty ,what you

Tue, 2020-07-14 16:11

 Good one frosty ,what you have suggested definitely makes sense  its a great idea the short term license they would definitely do alright  out of it , now your mates with Tinley hit him up about creating a license for land base crabbers ,shits me to tears as a fisherman how much we have to spend on all the different types of licenses ,boating fees etc  ,  yet landbase crabbers dont pay a cent  , imagine  how much money they would make from fining every one they caught crabbing with out one , shit tons of coin !  Might help protect the crab stocks too  


 Happy dayz 

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 Would  also love being able

Tue, 2020-07-14 16:18

 Would  also love being able to purchase a 'guest' license I could use to cover all those single time people that I take out.

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Tue, 2020-07-14 18:37

Hey Frosty. Great work. Allways good to see people actually do something about driving change.

Not sure if you have engaged RFW yet but suggest you do pro actively. 

As you can see the Minister will have his office seek some direction from them and if they dont support it - it will die.

You will need to ensure they see it as justifiable, not too complicated or at odds with other things they are trying to achieve.

Jackfrost80's picture

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 Thanks for the heads up

Tue, 2020-07-14 20:43

 Thanks for the heads up mate. Will make contact with them tomorrow


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

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Should be easy?

Tue, 2020-07-14 20:00

Being able to get a short term licence for a guest should be easy to impliment now everything is online. My experience a number of times, when in NSW over a weekend and thinking about a day break tailor session off the rocks, was to get up before dawn, check the weather, then if it was good just click online, pay my $7 for a 3 day license while the ketlte boiled, then head out with a licence copy on my phone. If the weather wasn't right, then back to bed and no licence. All good. 

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 Here here, well done Frosty.

Tue, 2020-07-14 20:10

 Here here, well done Frosty.

hezzy's picture

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good suggestion jack and well

Tue, 2020-07-14 21:03

good suggestion jack and well done on effort to keep chasing it up ,

lost of people have good intentions but few actually do something for lots of reasons
so hats of to you !!



OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing


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Well done to you

Tue, 2020-07-14 23:19

A very good idea and you have acted on it again well done to you

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 Great work, I have no issue

Fri, 2020-07-17 14:45

 Great work, I have no issue buying a saltwater licence as that is basically all I do, But once or twice a year I go fishing down south in the dams but not really keen on the $50 freshwater licence, bit steep for maybe 3 or 4 days fishing, would be great if you could pay for a weeks licence.

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 Great work. Keen to hear the

Sun, 2020-08-09 12:45

 Great work. Keen to hear the progress on this. It would also be nice to have an "all licences" option and a decent discount. I would happily pay $150 to get all licenses and would in turn spend more money pursuing other types of fishing. As it stands I've got my RBFL and RL. If I had the others I could see myself spending $500 or more putting some time into having a go at marroning and freshwater fishing at the very least. But buying licence on top of licence adds up and I end up just boating and putting pots out. With rec fishing being a considerable driver for the state economy, I think the govt is missing out on some real growth by being short sighted with licences.  


Burley it and they will come.