Crown Land riverside campsites ready to open to the public

Andrews’ Labor Government is helping Victorians enjoy the state’s great outdoors even more, with the first of hundreds of new riverside campsites coming online.

The sites are part of a 2018 Labor Government election promise to ensure Victoria is the best place to explore the great outdoors, increasing access to camping on Crown land, with new sites opening for the camping starting Friday, with more to be added gradually. in the next weeks.

Up to 50 more will go live by the end of April, with new sites available to be listed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website. once they are identified as suitable for camping.

The new sites are accessible on foot from designated parking areas around the townships of Seymour, Tallarook, Murchison and Molesworth. Future sites may be accessible to vehicles, depending on location.

The sites are being brought online gradually in a phased approach, following a comprehensive consultation process during which more than 1,100 submissions were received on the draft regulations.

Rigorous assessments of public land values ​​have been conducted by DELWP to ensure sites are safe – and are followed by assessments by traditional owners of each site to ensure they are culturally appropriate for camping.

Other sites along the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, Loddon and Murray rivers are currently being assessed for inclusion in the program.

The public can already legally access licensed riverfronts for recreation such as fishing, hiking and picnicking.

Regulations governing camping on Crown land sites are enforced by DELWP, the Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria to ensure protection of the environment, Aboriginal cultural heritage, agricultural businesses and recreational users. Permit holders and adjacent landowners are also considered.

A 24-hour hotline (13FISH) is available to the public to report any illegal or anti-social behavior.

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As Minister of Fisheries and Boating Melissa Horne said

“We promised to give Victorians and visitors to our state the opportunity to camp in some of Victoria’s most scenic spots – and that’s exactly what we’ve done, with painstaking work preparing the first sites for the campers.”

“We have set up a 24-hour helpline staffed by authorized VFA officers to report misconduct around the riverside campsite, as well as continuing our work with Victoria Police to make sure everyone treats these sites with respect.”

As Minister of Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said

“Our public land is a wonderful asset for all Victorians who want to spend time outdoors, with a wide range of recreational activities available.”

As stated by VRFish President Rob Loats

“Public land should be available for public use – and what better use for shoreline Crown land than camping and fishing, allowing families and friends to create memories together.”

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Sally J. Minick