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Putting Crown Land camping laws back in the hands of landholders

A Matt Guy Liberals and Nationals Government will give power back to landholders to decide who can camp on their river frontages while beefing up penalties to those who flout the rules.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish said the new plan will address the many failures of the existing Land Act 1958 and regulations imposed on lessees from September last year.

Proposed changes will address concerns of landholders and farmers who lease frontages on the more than 17,000km of river frontage across the state that range from biosecurity on farms to personal safety and the potential threat of litigation.

Ms McLeish said, “More protection needs to be given to licence holders, their stock and property as well as the waterways and land.”

“I have heard the concerns of many famers across the region who don’t agree with the existing ‘free for all’ approach the State Labor Government has taken on opening licensed river frontages for camping.”

“Their concerns are not only for their farm and land, it is also for their families and children.”

The Act and its associated regulations would be more balanced with landholder permission a pre-requisite to camping, licensees authorised to remove consent upon a reasonable belief there has been a breach of determinations, while penalties applied to those who breach the rules could include increased penalties and the potential for seizure of fishing and camping equipment, vehicles and vessels.

The changes would also include preventative measures against biosecurity threats and potential environmental damage. Recreational users will continue to be able to access these frontages and have reasonable access for camping.

“The suitability of sites that have already been identified would also be re-assessed. Additionally, the Liberal Nationals will review and re-assess the existing leases to enhance the experience for the fishers, campers and adjacent leaseholders,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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