• Loddon Herald

Land access anger

ANGER is growing across the Loddon at State Government plans to give campers access to their licensed Crown water frontages.

Farmers with Loddon River and other waterway frontages will be required to allow campers to stay up to 28 days on their agricultural land from September 28.

A protest rally was held in Melbourne last week against what Murray Plains MP Peter Walsh said would be flawed camping regulations.

Mr Walsh said the Nationals’ state conference had just passed a motion condemning the policy.

“If The Nationals are elected to government next year we will amend this flawed legislation to allow landholders to opt-in to allowing camping on licensed crown water frontages,” he said.

“That means it will only occur on licensed Crown water frontage where landholders actively choose to have people camp.”

Mr Walsh said the Government was actively encouraging people to camp on farm land.

He said it had been developing an app to show people where licensed Crown water frontage existed and unmarked roads that could be used to access to that frontage.

“In plain English or bureaucratic double speak the message is the same – the anomalies existing in the regulations were unworkable and unacceptable,” Mr Walsh added.

“Landholders are not allowed to collect firewood from Crown land reserves they hold under licence; yet campers will be able to use this land at any time – and collect and burn firewood the adjoining owner will be fined for if he or shew so much as touches a single twig,” he said.

“Not only do these changes expose landholders who face industrial manslaughter charges if there is a fatal accident to legal liability, but Labor MPs are also closing their ears to concerns about the risk of biosecurity breaches, bushfires, litter and the destruction of habitat,” Mr Walsh.

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