Agriculture Environment and Water Sport and Recreation | March 09, 2021
Landholders’ voices must be heard on riverside camping rules
Consultation has opened on sweeping changes introduced by the Andrews Labor Government that will allow people to camp on river frontages held under a grazing licence.
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said it was imperative that landholders had their say on the new regulations, which are set to take effect on September 1.
“The Nationals did not support these changes,” Ms Kealy said.
“We pushed strongly for an amendment to the legislation that would have only permitted camping with agreement from the landholders with the grazing licence.
“I believe this would have struck a more appropriate balance between protecting the rights of leaseholders and giving access to campers.
“Having ignored the concerns of landholders and pushed the changes through Parliament, Labor is now figuring out the detailed regulations that will sit underneath the change.
“While this is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, it is incredibly important that landholders affected take the time to read the draft regulations and provide feedback.”
Ms Kealy said she was particularly concerned about what the changes would mean along sections of the Wimmera and Glenelg rivers, particularly in relation to fire risk and stock thefts.
“The vast majority of people do the right thing, but I am concerned landholders will have little recourse when someone does not adhere to the regulations,” she said.
“Our local police do not have the resources to move campers on or to ensure they are following the rules in the middle of the night.
“This policy seems driven by Labor’s desire to win votes among recreational fishers and outdoor enthusiasts in Melbourne.
“I have spoken with licensees who have been alarmed at the potential fire and stock theft risks, as well as the prospect of biosecurity breaches, rubbish dumping, antisocial behaviour, asset destruction and concerns around privacy and insurance.
“I encourage all landholders in Lowan to read the draft regulations and provide feedback within the next six weeks.”
To read the regulations and participate in the consultation process please visit, www.engage.vic.gov.au/regulated-watercourse-land-regulations.
Feedback can also be provided via email to [email protected] or in writing to Land Management Policy Division, DELWP, PO Box 500, East Melbourne VIC 8002.
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