New campsites open in Tallarook, Seymour
Thinking of camping during the Easter holidays?
More Crown land campsites along the Goulburn River near Tallarook and Seymour are now open to the public.
The sites are part of a 2018 state government election promise to increase access to camping on Crown land.
Six sites along the Goulburn River opened camping on Friday, with more to be added gradually over the coming weeks.
Up to 50 more will go live by the end of April, with new sites available which will be listed on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning, DELWP, once they are identified as suitable for camping.
The new sites are accessible on foot from designated parking areas in the townships of Seymour, Tallarook, Murchison and Molesworth.
The Seymour site can be accessed from the end of Anglesey Street, while the Tallarook 1 camping area can be accessed via a pedestrian gate next to the Mansfield-Tallarook Rail path, near the picnic area shelter .
To get to Tallarook camping area two, people should travel south along Telegraph Road to an unlocked gate, then continue along the track to the parking lot where there is another gate where people can walk to the camping area.
Fisheries and Boating Minister Melissa Horne said future sites may be accessible to vehicles, depending on location, including sites along the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, Loddon and Murray.
“We promised to give Victorians and visitors to our state the opportunity to camp in some of Victoria’s most scenic spots – and we’ve done just that, with painstaking work preparing the first sites for the campers,” she said.
“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 for us ensure that everyone treats these sites with respect.”
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the public can already legally access licensed riverfronts for recreation such as fishing, hiking and picnicking.
Ms D’Ambrosio said regulations governing camping on Crown land were enforced by DELWP, the Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria to ensure protection of the environment, Indigenous cultural heritage, agricultural businesses and users recreational. Permit holders and adjacent landowners are also considered.
She said the sites were coming online gradually in a phased approach, following a consultation process in which more than 1,100 submissions were received on draft regulations.
Ms D’Ambrosio said DELWP staff had undertaken public land value assessments to ensure the sites were safe and there were also assessments of the traditional owners of each site to ensure that they were culturally appropriate for camping.
‘Our public land is a wonderful asset for all Victorians who want to spend time outdoors, with a wide range of recreational activities available,’ she said.
VRFish president Rob Loats said a 24-hour hotline, 13FISH, is available to the public to report illegal or anti-social behavior.
“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,” he said.
However, Euroa MP Steph Ryan said key questions about the impact of the changes on landowners remained unanswered, including the number of tenants affected, whether those affected had been informed and whether there was a formal appeal process once sites are identified.
“There are serious ramifications for renters, who have been told they must carry liability insurance in the event of death or injury at a campsite,” she said.
Ms Ryan said she was also concerned about enforcement and the tension that would inevitably arise between tenants and campers.