A clear path for Victoria
As part of the $35 million Target One Million plan, 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 land with water frontage.
This legislation has successfully passed through both the lower and upper house of Parliament and has been returned to the lower house for amendments. The VFA is working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning to develop suitable regulations to support camping at these locations.
An extensive consultation process will take place before the changes take effect in September 2021.
In the interim, the VFA has identified several high value recreational fishing sites with access issues the Government has asked us to rectify.
Access to Crown water frontage for various recreational users (fishers, bird watchers, hikers, etc) has been limited by poor infrastructure and confusing information regarding access points.
For many of these identified sites, the issue is perception of private ownership by the licensee or adjoining private landholder.
The VFA will install access gates and signage at the entry points to Crown land as part of the project, and in time, will create a map on the VFA website/app that specifies each access point and allows people to know if they are on Crown land.
In addition, we will install directional road signs, directing the recreational user from the main road to the access point that we will create.
To date, we have improved access for fishers at 19 sites on the Goulburn River, in and around Murchison and the Goulburn Weir.
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 and car parking facilities.
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.
Click here to learn more about the Bill, including what the Bill will do, how the policy will be implemented, where camping is expected to occur as a result of the changes and how farm biosecurity issues will be managed.