The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to open new camping areas alongside rivers in Victoria with hundreds of new areas being investigated as possible camping sites.
After consulting extensively with the community, the Government is finalising new regulations governing recreational use of Crown land river frontages that will give Victorians more options to enjoy the great outdoors from September 1 this year.
Camping will only take place on suitable sites, with a rigorous assessment process applied to ensure sites will be safe for camping, with environmental and agricultural impacts considered as well as any impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Up to 27 sites along the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, Loddon and Murray Rivers are currently being assessed with hundreds to follow.
More than 1,100 submissions were received during consultation on the draft regulations.
The final regulations will reflect the expectations of the entire community, providing a fair balance between providing opportunities for recreation while ensuring the environment and Aboriginal cultural heritage are protected and the interests of adjoining landowners and licence holders are considered.
The public can already lawfully access licensed river frontages for recreation such as fishing, hiking and picnicking.
The regulations will be enforced by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria to ensure the protection of the environment, Aboriginal cultural heritage and the interests of recreational users, licensees and adjoining landowners are considered.
A 24-hour hotline (13FISH) will be available for the public to report any illegal or antisocial behaviour.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We’re reviewing potential sites to ensure environmental and agricultural concerns are considered and we’re partnering with Tra
ditional Owners to ensure Aboriginal cultural heritage is protected.”
“We’re striking the right balance to make sure riverside public land is protected for generations to come.”
As stated by Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“We are delivering on our promise to open up more sites for camping alongside our beautiful rivers where we know Victorians already love to enjoy the outdoors in different ways, including fishing”.
“Applying this rigorous assessment process will ensure that people are safe, and our environment is protected.”