Thursday, 8 March 2018
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has proudly lauded Inverell’s upcoming inaugural ‘Cod Cash’ event on the floor of Parliament, delivering a rousing invitation to the world’s anglers to drop in a line at Copeton Dam for their chance at $25,000 in cash prizes.
In the Private Member’s Statement on last night in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Marshall said he was ‘thrilled’ at the prospects for the world-first event, which is expected to bring more than a thousand visitors to the Inverell area.
“Already interest has been expressed by people from Tasmania, Western Australia and overseas,” Mr Marshall said.
“Over the nine days of the competition, anglers will be trying to catch an undisclosed number of tagged cod that will be released into the beautiful waters of Copeton Dam.”
Each tagged fish will offer a significant sum of prize money, with one lucky angler to bag a Murray Cod worth a princely $20,000.
Mr Marshall told his parliamentary colleagues that the competition, supported by Inverell Shire Council and MO Tackle and Outdoors of Inverell, would build the prestige of the ‘renowned’ Copeton Dam and make a splash in the local economy.
“It is the only place in Australia where anglers can legally catch and take Murray cod from the water all year round,” Mr Marshall said. “Because of that, Copeton Dam is an absolute tourist mecca.”
“When anglers and fishers travel to the State’s wonderful inland waterways, they spend money on fuel for their cars and boats, food, and camping materials.
“When they are in the beautiful sapphire city of Inverell or the delightful Bingara, which is near Copeton Dam, they will shop and spend their money.”
Cod Cash will be held between the 14th and 22nd of April and also offers a $500 prize for the best photo taken at the event.
Mr Marshall said he would love to see the event become an annual fixture.
“Come one, come all, I invite all anglers to Copeton Dam. They will not be disappointed. Even people like me can catch a tagged Murray cod and they will too.”
MEDIA: Will Kelly 0447 386 645
COD CASH FISHING TOURNAMENT
Mr ADAM MARSHALL (Northern Tablelands – Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Assistant Minister for Skills) (19:15): As we all know, many people who live in the rural and regional areas of New South Wales love to wet a line. There is no greater feeling than being on the water when the line tugs and reeling in a big Murray cod. People who live in the Northern Tablelands electorate are fortunate in having access to a wonderful facility, Copeton Dam, which is renowned not only in Australia but also throughout the world as perhaps the very best spot for Murray cod fishing. All anglers would know that Copeton Dam is unique because there is no restricted season for Murray cod fishing in the dam. It is the only place in Australia where anglers can legally catch and take Murray cod from the water all year round. Because of that, Copeton Dam is an absolute tourist mecca.
In the past 12-month period, for the very first time Copeton Dam attracted more than 80,000 visitors. That is on the back of millions of dollars of investment by the State Government to improve its facilities, such as a kiosk, a camping ground, potable water from every tap, a new water filtration and storage system and, most recently, an extension to the major boat ramp at the dam at a cost of $70,000. Tonight I wish to discuss a world first for Copeton Dam, which is the Cod Cash competition The competition will be held at Copeton Dam in April. I congratulate Inverell Shire Council and particularly its Mayor, Paul Harmon, on this wonderful initiative. The competition will be a nine-day competitive fishing event. MOTackle & Outdoors of Inverell has been named as the major sponsor and an overall prize of more than $25,000 will be offered to anglers.
Already interest has been expressed by people from Tasmania, Western Australia and overseas countries. Over the nine days of the competition, anglers will be trying to catch an undisclosed number of tagged cod that will be released into the beautiful waters of Copeton Dam. Registration is free and can be completed online or at the Inverell Visitors Centre. Anglers simply need to register and pick up their individually numbered certificate. If anglers are lucky enough to catch one of the tagged cod, they should place them on the brag mat, take a photograph, and cut out the tag and bring it into the visitor centre to claim a prize. Last weekend I had the privilege of spending some time with Peter and Ron Randall, who have successfully operated for years the Gwydir Fish Native Fish Hatchery. The hatchery is near the edges of Copeton Dam and stocks cod, yellow belly and perch. I was there with the Mayor of Inverell, Paul Harmon, and we checked out of some of the legal‑sized cod weighing between 4.5 kilograms and five kilograms that have been grown in the hatchery. They will be released into the waters of Copeton Dam for this magnificent inaugural world-first competition.
It is expected that this competition alone will attract in excess of 1,000 new anglers to Copeton Dam, and hopefully they will bring their families. Given the location of Copeton Dam, as the State’s tourism Minister I am acutely aware that the vast majority of people will be driving to the area and will be camping over several days. When anglers and fishers travel to the State’s wonderful inland waterways, they spend money on fuel for their cars and boats, food, and camping materials. When they are in the beautiful sapphire city of Inverell or the delightful Bingara, which is near Copeton Dam, they will shop and spend their money.
I am absolutely thrilled about the prospects for the success of this competition. We have not even held the first round.
I acknowledge the other businesses for the support they have provided to the competition. They include Camping World and Compleat Angler Inverell, the wonderful community mutual bank Regional Australia Bank, Simply Print Anything, Inverell Fishing and Hunting, the State Government through Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, the Australian Hotel at Inverell, H Hardware in Brissett Street, and Inverell Shire Council. I commend the council for a wonderful initiative and everyone who has played a role in organising the event. I am absolutely confident that it will be successful and will wonderfully showcase a premiere inland freshwater fishing spot in Australia. It will also showcase all the wonderful recreational activities available there.
As I said, we have been developing Copeton Dam as an inland tourism mecca, and it is. The fact that more than 80,000 people visit the site each year shows that it is something special. The Cod Cash competition will take it to the next level and I would love to see it become an annual event. Come one, come all. I invite all anglers to Copeton Dam. They will not be disappointed. Even people like me can catch a tagged Murray cod, and they will too.