Liberals fight to protect water frontages
Wednesday, 14 October 2020
The Liberal Nationals are moving amendments to new laws allowing camping on river and water frontages to safeguard our natural environment and protect existing rights for farmers.
Victoria has more than 170,000 km of river and water frontages, and for decades Victorians have enjoyed these magnificent areas by going bushwalking, fishing and bird watching.
Many farmers lease water frontages from the State, and they’ve done a brilliant job in protecting and preserving native habitats from disease, pests, waste and abuse, and managing fire hazards and biosecurity risks.
The Labor Government’s Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment Bill will change the law to allow people to camp on water frontages without the consent of farmers and land managers.
The Liberal Nationals support Victorians enjoying more opportunities to fish and camp on Victoria’s water frontages, but we don’t think it’s fair that farmers and land managers are left behind. We want strong safeguards in place that protects people, our native environment and wildlife, and farms.
That’s why the Liberal Nationals will move an amendment to these news laws that requires the permission of a water frontage licensee before camping.
This amendment is about protecting farmers, campers and the environment. Farmers can be confident of managing any risks to biosecurity, livestock, wildlife, areas of native revegetation, fire hazard, waste and pests. Campers can be confident of camping safely, finding out the best places to set up camp and learn about any protected species, or risks such as flood and dangerous landscapes.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:
“More than ever Victorians want to get out into our great outdoors and enjoy fishing, bushwalking and camping in our magnificent natural environment, including along our beautiful river and water frontages.
“For decades, farmers and land managers have done a brilliant job in protecting and preserving native habitats along these water frontages from pests, waste and abuse, and have managed fire hazard and biosecurity risks.
“The Liberal Nationals support more Victorians enjoying fishing and camping on water frontages but also want to safeguard our native habitats and protect farmers and their livestock and crops.
“By amending the new laws that allow water frontage camping we can also ensure adequate protections for our farmers and for our environment and wildlife.
“Farmers can be confident of managing any risks to biosecurity, livestock, wildlife, areas of native revegetation, fire hazards, waste and pests. Campers can be confident of camping safely, discovering the best places to set up camp, and learn about protected species or risks of flood and dangerous landscapes.”