What you need to know about licensed river frontage camping
The Victorian Government is pursuing a policy to allow camping on Crown Land river frontages that are licensed by Victorian farmers. Under pressure from the VFF and other stakeholders the Government has watered down the proposal from a free-for-all policy applying to all 17,000km of licensed river frontages in the state to a targeted pilot program.
Before camping is allowed at a site it must first be assessed as suitable. The assessment will include cultural heritage and environmental values, but the VFF is not satisfied that agricultural values will be appropriately assessed.
We are advocating for a system of registration for campers and for the government to actively involve licence holders (farmers) in the site assessment process.
Farmers who have been notified by DELWP that an assessment is being conducted over their licensed river frontage are strongly urged to contact the VFF Policy Team for support.
To find out more about the regulations and see what you need to do if you are subject to a pilot site read our factsheets here:
– Riverside camping fact sheet – General information – September 2021 (PDF)
– Riverside camping fact sheet – What assessments are being undertaken by DELWP? (PDF)
– Riverside camping fact sheet – How to prepare for an assessment (PDF)
– Riverside camping fact sheet – What are some of the risks I should document? (PDF)
– Riverside camping fact sheet – How to use Mapshare for assessments (PDF)
In 2020 the Victorian Parliament passed amendments to the Land Act 1958 that removed the long standing prohibition on camping on licensed water frontage.
The VFF opposed this legislation as we believed the risk to farm businesses and the environment by unfettered camping was too great. VFF helped organise a rally on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne to protest against the new laws.
In September 2021 the Victorian Government released the Land (Regulated Watercourse Land) Regulations 2021, setting the framework for the initiative. The VFF was very active in trying to ensure these regulations took into account the concerns of farmers, including through the production of a detailed submission.
The VFF continues to support and empower our members throughout this process. To discuss this issue with the VFF, please contact the Policy Team at [email protected]. If you have any questions please contact the VFF on 1300 882 833.