Unhappy campers: landholders dirty on Labor’s riverfront policy
01 April 2022
The Euroa electorate is set to become ground zero for the Andrews Government’s unpopular changes to riverfront camping.
Member for Euroa and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan said Labor had announced sites along the Goulburn in Seymour, Tallarook and Murchison were open to camping from today.
The Andrews Government has also stated it plans to add a further 50 sites to the list by the end of April.
Ms Ryan said key questions about how the changes will impact local landholders remain unanswered.
“In February I asked the Environment Minister to outline how many leaseholders were affected, whether affected individuals had been notified and whether there was an official process of appeal once sites were identified,” Ms Ryan said.
“Three simple questions were posed to the Minister in February and so far, we’ve heard crickets.
“In that time the Andrews Government has surreptitiously completed site inspections along river frontage.
“There are serious ramifications for leaseholders, who have been told they need to have public liability insurance in case someone dies or is injured at a campsite.
“Labor is putting all the responsibility for this back onto leaseholders, but giving them no say as to who can enter or how the sites are managed.”
Ms Ryan said she understood the government was considering closing a camp site on Crown land on Northwood Rd while attempting to open another on licence land a few kilometres downstream.
“It’s only fair affected leaseholders are consulted about how it will impact on their businesses and properties. This whole process is amateur hour,” Ms Ryan said.
“City votes are the only consideration for Labor MPs who have clearly decided that they don’t give a toss about the people whose homes and livelihoods will be impacted.”
Ms Ryan said she remained concerned about the enforcement of regulations and the tension that was going to inevitably arise between leaseholders and campers.
“Leaseholders have been told to call Fisheries when campers break regulations,” Ms Ryan said.
“The idea of someone from Fisheries will turn up in the middle of the night to resolve disputes is ridiculous.
“Labor Ministers have no clear understanding of the process they are trying to implement. They should eat some humble pie and admit that they have pulled the wrong lever with this policy.”