Local Government Environment National Parks

Adjournment - Camp Site Rubbish Removal

14 April 2016

Murray Plains electorate camp site rubbish removal

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — The matter I raise is for the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water. The action that I seek from the minister is that she provide funding to Parks Victoria to place large dumpster bins at the exits to the Parks Victoria parks along the Murray River in my electorate and also to cover the cost of actually having those dumpsters emptied.

Parks Victoria has a carry‑in, carry‑out policy in those parks along the river, whereby the campers bag up their own rubbish and bring it out. That is a policy that is supported by the overwhelming majority of campers, and the overwhelming majority of campers do the right thing. The challenge is that once they leave the park, at the first wayside stop that they come to — or the first rubbish bin that they come to — they offload their rubbish. In most cases those wayside stops or rubbish bins are managed by council.

The mayor of the Gannawarra Shire Council, Lorraine Learmonth, recently wrote to me about this particular issue, saying that she did not believe that it was fair that councils should cover the cost of having to clean up the rubbish that is brought out of the Parks Victoria camping sites by those particular campers. The estimation of the Gannawarra council is that it costs it something like $70 000 per year to clean up the rubbish that is left at the wayside stops or the rubbish bins in the towns in those particular areas.

The point that the Gannawarra council has raised with me in the letter from the mayor is that with rate capping being imposed by this government, the council is now examining all of the relevant costs that it has in its budget and looking at what costs it can actually trim out of its budget in cases where the associated services should be paid for by a relevant authority in another area.

I support the Gannawarra council, and quite rightly the council’s view is that this rubbish is coming from camping sites in Parks Victoria areas and that Parks Victoria should actually be responsible for the cost of the clean‑up and the taking away of that rubbish. The council believes that if it is going to have to abide by the rate cap that is being put in place by the current Andrews government, it will have to make sure it can trim its budget to meet that particular circumstance and should not have to be responsible for the $70 000 needed to clean up that rubbish.

As I have said, the action I seek from the minister is that she provide Parks Victoria with enough financial resources to put dumpster bins in place at the exits to those parks and, equally importantly, provide the remuneration to Parks Victoria to have those bins emptied regularly, because we do not want huge dumpster bins full of rubbish left there to rot and blow around the countryside.

 

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