Is Camping and Boating Rights Under Threat in New Park Plan?

VRFish, the Recreational Fishing Peak Body representing over 838,000 Victorian fishers, is concerned fishers, campers and regional communities’ rights could be under threat from a River Red Gum Parks Draft Management Plan.

Chair of VRFish, Mr. Robert Loats said, “The draft plan contains several contradictory statements that permits practices such as dispersed camping and campfires, then followed with statements to restrict them.”

“It goes against VRFish’s consultation with Parks Victoria prior to the release of the Draft Plan. We were assured that current dispersed camping opportunities and campfire regulations would not be changed.”

The Draft Plan proposes to implement strategies such as the delineation of camping areas and forcing users to book a campsite in some areas.

VRFish will raise its concerns and seek clarification directly with Parks Victoria before finalising its submission and communicating back to the fishing community.

“We believe the Victorian community has a right to enjoy camping beside a warm campfire, to cook a camp oven meal and enjoy the tranquil surrounds of the mighty Murray River while having a fish.”

Further assurance was provided that current boating access opportunities would remain and where possible enhanced.

“Instead, the draft plan proposes boating restrictions on several waters, including the Ovens River and Gunbower Creek without any explanation.”

VRFish urges all fishers, campers, regional communities and users of Victoria’s River Red Gum Parks to obtain a copy of the Draft Plan Management Plan that is open for public comment until 30 September 2017.

Victoria’s River Red Gum Parks cover over 100 parks and reserves and 215,000 ha along the Murray Goulburn and Ovens Rivers, extending from the South Australian border to Wodonga.

Link to draft plan

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