Do Seniors Need A Fishing Licence In NSW?

The New South Wales (NSW) Government closely monitors all recreational fishing activities to ensure that the NSW waters are properly taken care of. One of the methods used to fund the research and protection of the waters is the mandatory Recreational Fishing Fee or Recreational Fishing Licence.

Generally, the rule is that anyone over the age of 18 must pay the fee; however, there are some exceptions for senior citizens.

Senior citizens need a Fishing Licence in NSW. However, some exceptions include if you have a Pensioners Concession Card, a DVA Gold Card and if you get Disability Compensation Payment or Special Rate Disability Pension.

In the rest of this article, we will discuss the exemptions to the Recreational Fishing Fee, how senior citizens can qualify for an exemption, and how much the licence costs.

Do Seniors Need To Pay The Recreational Fishing Fee?

Senior citizens generally have to pay the Recreational Fishing Fee. However, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has made a list of exemptions for senior citizens. Those who fall under this list do not need a Recreational Fishing Licence.

Senior citizens who hold the following documentsOpens in a new tab. don’t need to pay the recreational fishing fee:

  • Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink.
  • Pensioner Concession Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
  • DVA Gold Card holders that are printed with “TPI (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated)” or “EDA (Extreme Disablement Adjustment)”.
  • Letter acknowledging DVA Disability Compensation Payment at 70% or higher or Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP).

If you are exempt from paying the fee, you must carry one of these documents as identification. The Department of Primary Industries identifies the “holder” of the card as the person whose signature appears on it. If you don’t have these documents, you can get fined for illegal fishing.

Senior citizens with a Seniors Health Card, Health Care Card and DVA White Cards are not exempt from the Recreational Fishing Fee.

Who Qualifies For A Recreational Fishing Fee Exemption?

Those who qualify for a recreational fishing fee exemption include aboriginals, senior citizens in possession of certain documents, minors under the age of 18, and adults assisting minors with a single rod, dip or scoop net. People fishing in private dams of less than 2 hectares also qualify.

Those who fall under the exemptions need not fill out any forms. They can simply carry the necessary document that proves their exemption.

Researching Senior Citizen Fishing Exemptions

Senior Citizen Fishing Exemptions

As mentioned earlier, senior citizens are exempt from the Recreational Fishing Fee if they have certain documents. Regular Health Care Card, Seniors Health Card, or DVA White Card holders do not fall under the list of exemptions.

Below, I’ll explain more about the documents needed to fall under the list of exemptions and who qualifies for these documents.

Centrelink Issued Pensioner Concession Card

Centrelink is a part of Services Australia, which takes care of making payments and providing services for multiple Australian Government programs. Some of the programs covered by Services Australia are programs by Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, etc.

Services Australia, through Centrelink, offers a Pensioner Concession CardOpens in a new tab. to senior citizens. This card allows seniors to avail cheaper medicines, public transport, and utilities.

To get a Pensioner Concession Card, you must receive at least one of the following three services from Services Australia.

  • Income Support
  • Service Pension
  • Age Pension

If you receive one of these services, Services Australia will send you a Pensioner Concession Card. There is no form to fill out or request to make since they will send you the card automatically.

Senior citizens who hold this card need to carry their cards with them when fishing. DPI authorities may ask you to show your Pensioner Concession Card to prove your exemption from the Fishing Licence.

Department Of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Issued Pensioner Concession Card

The Pensioners Concession Card issued by the DVAOpens in a new tab. is the same as the one issued by Centrelink. This card allows senior citizens access to medicines, public transport, and utilities at a cheaper rate.

This card is issued to anyone who receives at least one of the following three services from the DVA.

  • Income Support
  • Age Pension
  • Service Pension

As long as you receive one of those three services, you are eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card. There is nothing you have to do to get the card; the DVA will send it to you automatically as long as you receive one of the three services mentioned above.

If you’re going fishing, you should carry this card to show the DPI authorities. This card is proof that you fall under the exemptions to the Fishing Licence.

Department Of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Gold Card

The DVA Veteran Gold Card is a healthcare card provided by the DVA for veterans to access clinically required healthcare for all ailments. This card also allows veterans to access other services and support. It’s also known as the Veterans Gold Card or the Repatriation Health Card.

This Gold Card is provided to the following people if they qualify for it under the DVA requirements.

  • Australian veterans
  • Commonwealth and allied veterans
  • Civilians
  • Dependants of veterans

The Gold Card is provided to those mentioned above if they meet the right criteria. You can view the full list of criteria on the DVA Gold Card webpageOpens in a new tab..

Senior citizens holding a Gold Card should carry this card while fishing. The card is enough proof that they are exempted from the Fishing Licence; however, if they don’t have the card in their possession while fishing, they may be fined by the DPI officers.

Disability Compensation Payment And Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP)

The Disability Compensation Payment (formerly known as the Disability Pension) is a payment made to Australian veterans as compensation for injuries or diseases sustained during their service. This compensation can be made in four “categories”.

The Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) is given to veterans who have been severely incapacitated by their service. This compensation is given if your incapacitation is determined to be 70% or more.

Recreational anglers who qualify for this compensation payment must carry a letter from the DVA acknowledging and confirming that the carrier is a recipient of this payment. If that letter is not produced as proof, the DPI officers may fine you for illegal fishing activities.

Fishing In NSW


Senior citizens generally need to pay for the Recreational Fishing Licence in NSW. However, there are exceptions. Senior citizens fall under the exemptions for the fee if they have one of the following documents.

  • Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink or the DVA.
  • DVA Gold Card printed with TPI (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated) or EDA (Extreme Disablement Adjustment).
  • Letter from the DVA confirming that the holder is a recipient of the Disability Compensation Payment or Special Rate Disability Pension.
  • Learn more about the rules for Canberra here

Seniors who fall under the exemptions must carry the respective document as proof while fishing.

Daniel Clarke

The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 31 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. Read more about us here

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