Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh says the Liberal Nationals are moving amendments to new laws allowing camping on river and water frontages to safeguard our natural environment and protect existing rights for farmers.
Mr Walsh said Victoria has more than 170,000 km of river and water frontages, and for decades Victorians have enjoyed these magnificent areas by going bushwalking, fishing and bird watching.
But he added many farmers lease water frontages from the State, and they’ve done a brilliant job in protecting and preserving native habitats from disease, pests, waste and abuse, and managing fire hazards and biosecurity risks.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment Bill will change the law to allow people to camp on water frontages without the consent of farmers and land managers,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals support Victorians enjoying more opportunities to fish and camp on Victoria’s water frontages, but we don’t think it’s fair farmers and land managers are left behind,” he said.
“We want strong safeguards in place that protect people, our native environment and wildlife, and farms.
“That’s why the Liberal Nationals will move an amendment to these new laws that requires the permission of a water frontage licensee before camping.
“This amendment is about protecting farmers, campers and the environment. Farmers can be confident of managing any risks to biosecurity, livestock, wildlife, areas of native revegetation, fire hazard, waste and pests.
“Campers can be confident of camping safely, finding out the best places to set up camp and learn about any protected species, or risks such as flood and dangerous landscapes.”
He said for decades, farmers and land managers have done a brilliant job in protecting and preserving native habitats along these water frontages from pests, waste and abuse, and have managed fire hazard and biosecurity risks.
“By amending the new laws farmers can be confident of managing any risks to biosecurity, livestock, wildlife, areas of native revegetation, fire hazards, waste and pests.
“Campers can be confident of camping safely, discovering the best places to set up camp, and learn about protected species or risks of flood and dangerous landscapes.”