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Caught in a snag: Labor’s plan to ban walking, fishing and swimming across Victoria

Victorians wetting their line, taking a swim, or walking their dog will be slapped with fines of up to $4000 under the Andrews Labor Government’s new plan to shut off access to more than 50 Victorian parks.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish said Labor’s proposed extreme new laws to stop Victorians accessing local parkland and waterways are absurd and only add to Daniel Andrews’ power hungry agenda.

“Governing the way community members use a park and banning fishing in park lakes and rivers is senseless. The Liberals and Nationals will not allow the draft regulations to proceed in their current form.”

With the current regulations set to expire in March 2023, the new laws would lock land away from the community, introduce heavy-handed fines, and impose a nonsensical permit system.

Proposed new fines include: a $1849 fine for swimming without a permit, a $3698 fine for collecting firewood for personal use, a $924 fine for walking off a defined path track, a $1849 fine for playing sport or engaging in recreational activity without a permit, a $1849 fine for organising a group of 30 or more to visit without a permit, and a $3698 fine for interfering with a rock.

In an added blow, the Andrews Labor Government will ban all forms of fishing in a number of lakes and rivers right across the state, hooking recreational fishers with a hefty penalty of up to $2000 if caught.

In regional Victoria, Shepparton Regional Park, Bendigo Regional Park and Kerang Park on the Murray River will soon be off limits, along with parks in the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges. Coastal parks will be limited to holiday makers who enjoy the outdoors.

Ms McLeish said, “The city-centric Labor Government can’t claim to be the recreational fishers’ friend all while planning to ban them from healthy waters filled with fish.”

“We should be doing all we can to encourage Victorians to be active, adventure outdoors and experience the great natural sites Victoria has to offer, not finding ways to turn them away.”


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