A clear path for Victoria - public access to public land

Background

As part of the 2018 fishing and boating election commitments, the State Government committed to guarantee access to fishing and camping on Crown land that has grazing licences and river frontage.

Section 401A of the Land Act 1958 enables a person to enter and remain for recreational purposes on a water frontage which has been licensed under provisions of that Act, but prohibits a person from camping on the licensed land.

To enable camping on licensed water frontages, the Land Act 1958 is being amended to remove the prohibition on camping on licensed Crown water frontage.

This legislation recently passed through the lower house of Parliament, and the VFA are working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning to develop suitable regulations to support camping at these locations.

Current action

In the interim, the VFA has identified several high value recreational fishing sites with access issues that the Government has asked us to rectify.

Access to Crown water frontage for various recreational users (anglers, bird watchers, hikers, etc) has been limited by poor infrastructure and confusing information regarding access points.

Access has also historically been limited by landholders padlocking gates and erecting misleading signage indicating that the land is private property.

For many of these identified sites, the issue is perception of private ownership by the licensee or adjoining private landholder.

The VFA will be installing access gates and signage at the entry points to Crown Land as part of the project (pictured top right), and in time, will create a map on the VFA website/app that specifies each access point.

In addition, we will install directional road signs, directing the recreational user from the main road to the access point that we will create (pictured bottom right).

This election commitment is part of the Government’s Target One Million program to increase participation in recreational fishing in Victoria by stocking more rivers/lakes and constructing new boat ramps, fishing platforms, fish cleaning tables an car parking facilities.

To date, we have improved angler access at 12 sites on the Goulburn River, in and around Murchison and the Goulburn Weir, whilst a further 5 sites identified on the Steavenson River will be completed by 31 March.

Finding your nearest access points

To identify Crown land abutting Victorian rivers and lakes, check out MapShare Vic via the link below. Remember, the public can legally access licenced and unreserved Crown land, however leased Crown land does not provide public access.