Recreational anglers now have better access to the lower reaches of the Tambo River at Johnsonville thanks to an upgrade of McFarlane Road, which provides shore-based fishers with vehicle access right next to the river.

Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing has welcomed the upgrade which provides better access for recreational fishing and to healthy outdoor pastimes for the entire family, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment in the Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often.

The four kilometre upgrade involved spreading and rolling 660 tonnes of gravel to fill pot holes, improving drainage and restoring the road surface so that two-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles can use it year-round.

The works were funded with $26,500 grant from Target One Million’s Better Fishing Facilities Fund and $3,000 from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), which undertook the upgrade.

DELWP staff from Tambo saw the potential for this upgrade and followed through to obtain the funding, engage with local community groups and organise a contractor.

The project was supported by the Nowa Nowa and Lake Tyers Beach angling clubs and the Twin Rivers Tourism Association.

The stretch of the Tambo River adjacent to McFarlane Road is very popular with local and visiting anglers, including competitors in the annual Twin Rivers Bream Classic.

The event attracts around 600 anglers from across the state and is a major boost to the local economy, particularly accommodation providers and associated tourism businesses. Many of these competitors are land-based anglers so this track upgrade will be welcomed by those anticipating the 2016 Bream Classic, which is fast approaching in July.

Ms Shing said the Labor Government’s Target One Million initiative had delivered several projects in Gippsland recently – including improving boating access to Blue Rock Lake, stocking barramundi into Hazelwood Pondage and establishing a marine stocking program by releasing estuary perch and mulloway into several estuaries, including Lake Tyers and Tamboon Inlet.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“We want to boost participation in recreational fishing to one million anglers by 2020. Projects like these help families and beginners enjoy the great outdoors and experience the thrill of catching their first fish.”

“Improved tracks and river access for anglers and clubs is a huge part of bringing visitors to Gippsland as people spend more time in this beautiful part of the world.”

“The investments we are making now with fish stock and breeding programs, improved access and a greater variety of angling experiences are all helping to make Gippsland a premier destination for recreational and competitive angling”