Rally calls out Labor’s ridiculous river camping regs

The fight over camping on licensed river frontages has been taken to the steps of state parliament today by farmers from all over regional Victoria.

Farmers have highlighted Labor’s ridiculous regulations which will see landholders become responsible for managing and cleaning up after campers whereby their land held under licence abuts a river.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian Region and Assistant Shadow Minister for Public Land Use, Melina Bath said landholders were incensed by the Andrews Labor Government’s plans which will force them to become park rangers and camp ground caretakers.

“Camping on public land should always remain the responsibility of Department of Land, Water and Environment (DELWP) and Parks Victoria.

“As it stands both DELWP and Parks Victoria aren’t adequately resourced to manage the current demand for camping on Victoria’s public land, including managing waste and checking for abandoned camp fires.

“Victoria has thousands of kilometres of river frontages, it’s wrong that Daniel Andrews is making farmers responsible for managing camping on them.   The task is a sheer impossibility and is nothing short of environmentally irresponsible.

“Daniel Andrews is hanging our hardworking farmers out to dry.

“How are farmers expected to issue camping permits, protect livestock and farm biosecurity, rotate campers, clean up waste, protect habitat, perform bank regeneration works and manage their farms? It’s impossible.

“This terrible Labor idea smacks of all care and no responsibility.

“Daniel Andrews is duck shoving the responsibility of managing camping activities onto licenced land holders who essentially have a rental agreement with the state government.

“If this was happening in our towns and cities on nature strips, public parks or rental properties – the outcry would be enormous.”

Ms Bath said farming and camping are completely incompatible activities and trying to combine them is fraught with multiple dangers.

“Bushfire risk from unattended campfires, water quality degradation from human waste, river bank erosion, habitat destruction and mixing cattle and campers are all issues that the Andrews Labor Government has failed to consider,” said Ms Bath.

“The Andrews Government must rethink its draft regulations, remove its foot off the throats of our farmers and leave them do what they do best – producing high quality food and fibre so people in the cities can remain clothed and fed.”