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Free camping plan along crown river frontages sparks bushfire concern for Gippsland and regional Victoria

Figures reported this week show Forest Fire Management Victoria attended 1435 bushfires in the last financial year - 860 were caused by unattended campfires.

By news@gippsland - 11th March 2022 - Back to News

The Victorian Government is yet to offer an explanation on how it will mitigate bushfire risk on Victorian farms in its ham-fisted move to open Crown river frontages to campers. Bushfire risk has become the latest red flag questioning Labor's riverfront camping proposal, adding to concerns including the failure to properly consult with landholders, fire authorities and traditional owners, as well as questions on who is liable for injury or death on licenced frontages or for policing threats to biosecurity.

Camping on licensed Crown water frontages will be permitted in specific, designated areas that have been assessed and deemed suitable for camping

Camping on licensed Crown water frontages will be permitted in specific, designated areas that have been assessed and deemed suitable for camping

Raised more questions

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh echoed warnings that the poorly developed policy will see local CFAs and landholders left to deal with the consequences. Labor's been trumpeting this policy since 2018.

"But it's obvious that even today it's still a half-baked proposal that leaves landholders with no protections and more questions than answers.How will the Victorian Government mitigate the risk of unattended bushfires? Or will it expect farmers to pick up the job of policing this too?" Mr Walsh said.

Needs to explain to landholders

Mr Walsh continued, "There's mass confusion on waste management, water quality, bushfire risk, vulnerable species, impacts on cultural heritage, biosecurity, public liability and protection of livestock which still haven't been addressed by the Labor government."

"Opening these river frontages to the public will create more erosion to river banks and damage to the surrounding habitat, as well as requiring stricter biosecurity measures and management of livestock - all on top of the already full-time job of managing a farm. The Ministers responsible - Lily D'Ambrosio and Melissa Horne - owe landholders an explanation on how they'll fix the problems their half-baked policy will create." Mr Walsh concluded.

Pictures from Peter Walsh MP Facebook page.


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