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Labor backflips on new camping laws

Reading a Newspaper

Wednesday 1 September 2021

After promising since 2018 to deliver camping along 17,000km of Victoria’s licensed river frontages, the Andrews Labor Government has spectacularly failed to deliver one new camping site in its newly released controversial regulations.

Under new regulations, Daniel Andrews and Labor have dodged all responsibility and accountability for making decisions about which licensed water frontages will be made available for camping, leaving it to bureaucrats in Parks Victoria to make these controversial decisions.

After receiving more than a thousand submissions from farmers and environmental groups to its botched plans, Labor was exposed in early August for backing down from its plan for camping along 17,000km to just “27 pilot sites”. Yet, on the day the new regulations have been issued and come into force, the government has failed to specify where campers can camp, leaving campers and the nearly 10,000 farmers who hold licenses to use the land for agriculture in complete limbo with hundreds of sites apparently still under assessment.

Labor’s new regulations demonstrate they’ve been forced to back down and backflip from their earlier plan for camps and campfires to remain for 28 consecutive days, with this being slashed in half to a new maximum of 14 days. However, the new regulations will allow campers to dump human faeces 100 metres from farmers’ homes.

Daniel Andrews and Labor are guilty of botching these camping laws and have no plan on how to improve camping opportunities for Victorians whilst protecting valuable river frontages from risks of environmental damage, pollution, bushfire and biosecurity hazards.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:

“The Andrews Labor Government’s new laws allowing camping on licensed water frontages were botched from the start.

“Despite years of media spin and major announcements, Labor has spectacularly backflipped by failing to list one additional camping site in its new regulations, leaving farmers, adjacent landowners and campers in complete limbo.

“Landowners and farmers who hold licenses to use the riverbanks for agriculture have worked hard to protect these areas from pollution and environmental damage and deserve to know if camping and campfires will be allowed in front of their properties.

“Labor has failed to provide one cent of funding to ensure these new camping regulations aren’t abused and that rivers aren’t left polluted, and has refused to support license holders to obtain adequate insurance to cover the increased risks of fire and biosecurity hazards resulting from these new laws.

“Labor’s spectacular backflip breaks their promise to campers, and shows they have no plan to protect and preserve Victoria’s crown river frontages.”

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