Camping confusion as Labor fails to detail plan
01 September 2021
You can listen to the Environment Minister's interview on ABC's Country Hour here.
The Andrews Government has failed to outline new regulations which are supposed to allow camping on riverfront land, despite the scheme taking effect today.
After a strong campaign from Nationals MPs and local communities, Labor backflipped in July on its plan to introduce camping on all river frontage grazing licences in the state, announcing that 27 sites would instead become “pilot sites”.
However, in an interview with ABC’s Country Hour today, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio admitted Labor’s sights were on northern Victoria, naming the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens and Campaspe as the government’s main priorities.
Ms Ryan said landholders hold serious concerns about Labor’s draft regulations, which were going to allow campers at a site for up to 28 days, building campfires and collecting up to half a cubic metre of wood a day.
Meeting with Nagambie Riparian Group representative John Beresford in Nagambie today, Ms Ryan said Labor’s process was in shambles.
“The Andrews Labor Government has admitted today that our region is going to be ground zero for their ill-conceived thought bubble,” Ms Ryan said.
“With the scheme due to start today, we still have no idea where these pilot sites are, or what regulations are going to be put in place.
“Labor forced this plan on landholders to buy votes in Melbourne and it is completely unfair that they haven’t even bothered to tell landholders how they will be affected.
“Along the Goulburn River, we have grazing licences which are also subject to work permits for a quarry.
“There are landholders who could have people camping on their front lawns and others who are deeply worried about the biosecurity and bushfire risks.
“Others who hold river frontage under different arrangements have told me they have had people demanding to camp as their right.
“The Andrews Government has made a complete hash of these changes because they arrogantly refused to listen to farmers from the start.
“If The Nationals are elected to government in November 2022, we will amend this flawed legislation and give local landholders their voices back.”
Photo caption: Yarran Thoroughbreds’ John Doherty and Nagambie Riparian Group representative John Beresford met with Member for Euroa Steph Ryan to discuss their concerns about the government’s camping regulations.