Consultation has opened on sweeping changes introduced by the Andrews Labor Government that will allow people to camp on river frontages held under a grazing licence.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said it was imperative that landholders had their say on the new regulations, which are set to take effect on September 1.
“The Nationals did not support this legislation as the government could not answer the specifics on the prospect of biosecurity breaches, rubbish dumping, effluent disposal, antisocial behaviour, asset destruction and concerns around privacy and insurance,” Mr Bull said.
“We pushed strongly for an amendment to the legislation that would have permitted camping with agreement from the landholders with the grazing licence.
“I believe this would have struck a more appropriate balance between protecting the rights of leaseholders and giving access to campers.
“Having ignored the concerns of landholders, Labor is now figuring out the detailed regulations that will sit underneath the change.
“While this is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, it is incredibly important that landholders affected take the time to read the draft regulations and provide feedback.”
Mr Bull said he was particularly concerned about how the rules will be enforced.
“The vast majority of people do the right thing, but I am concerned landholders will have little recourse when someone does not adhere to the regulations,” he said.
“Our local police do not have the resources to move on people who are not doing the right thing or ensure they are following the rules in the middle of the night.
“I want more protection for the adjoining property holders who will need to live with the consequences if campers do the wrong thing.
“I encourage all East Gippsland landholders to read the draft regulations and provide feedback within the next six weeks.”
To read the regulations and participate in the consultation process please visit, www.engage.vic.gov.au/regulated-watercourse-land-regulations.
Thursday, March 11, 2020