• Loddon Herald

Camp sites to be revealed

LODDON River locations where camping will be allowed on Crown land licenced to local farmers may not be known until new regulations are official next month.

The State Government last Friday announced the opening of new camping areas alongside rivers on September 1 “with hundreds to follow”.

However, the first 27 sites on the Loddon, Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, and Murray Rivers have not been named.

A government spokesperson said: “Details of sites that have been assessed as appropriate for camping will be published on the DELWP website when the regulations come into effect on September 1.”

“During consultation we listened to a wide range of stakeholders including Crown land licence holders, recreational users including campers and anglers, interest groups and representative organisations.”

The first sites to be assessed were chosen based on expected demand from campers and anglers.

The Government says that during the assessment, environmental values and suitability for camping will be considered as well as any impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Public safety and agricultural impacts have been considered in developing the regulations to determine where people will be able to camp.

The Government says the public are already able to access licenced Crown river frontages for recreation.

“Many of the regulations will be similar to those currently in place for these activities and we would expect recreational visitors to be respectful of the activities of licensees and landholders.”

However, Victorian Farmers’ Federation and the Nationals have been critical of the Government’s move that will allow camping for up to 28 days within 200 metres of farmers’ homes.

The VFF wants a dedicated stakeholder reference group to advise the Government on the implementation of the upcoming camping regulations.

President Emma Germano said the regulations would considerably impact a number of stakeholders.

“Farmers and the environment will be significantly impacted by the camping regulations set to come into force in just over a month’s time., ” she said.

“It’s only fair that those impacted have a means to have their voice heard,”

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