Victorian government reveals new shoreline campsites on Crown land for recreational anglers

Keen anglers and campers will for the first time have access to scenic new campsites on Crown land along the Goulburn River, north of Melbourne.

Details have been a long time coming, but the Victorian government has finally named the first six sites where public access will be granted on riverside Crown land authorized by farmers.

People can access campsites along the Goulburn River in Seymour, Tallarook, Murchison and Molesworth from Friday.

Another 50 camping areas are expected to open by mid-April, just in time for school holidays and Easter.

This is one of the newer campsites on the Goulburn River near Tallarook.(Provided: Department of Environment, Territory, Water and Planning)

During a government consultation process and protests on the steps of parliament, farmers who pay a fee to use and manage the land have raised concerns about public access.

Farmers feared that people would pollute the land they used for grazing livestock with human waste and garbage.

They also expressed concern that campers would start fires and interfere with livestock.

A large grassy field with trees in the background
This is the entry point to one of the new Crown land campsites along the Goulburn River in Seymour.(Supplied: Department of the Environment, Territory, Water and Regional Planning.)

But the top body for recreational fishers, VRFish, said public land should be available for public use.

“Going forward, we’d like to see some vehicles gain access to some of the new ones…because we have an older community there,” said VR Fish President Rob Loats.

“[There are] lots of people who like to drive, bring their camping gear, set up a nice camp, and enjoy the environment and the fishing,”

Map of new riverside campsites
Anglers and campers will have access to these six new campsites on Crown land on Friday(Provided: Department of Environment, Territory, Water and Planning)

Public land for public use

Mr Loats said his group VRFish was lobbying the Victorian Government “extremely strongly” and would inform campers of the specific rules that apply to new campsites.

“Access is a huge issue across Victoria for recreational anglers,”

“From time to time you see signs going up, roads closed, sites closed to access, so that’s a really big deal for us… to maintain access and improve access,” Ms. .Loats.

He said there were over a million recreational anglers in Victoria.

Fisheries Minister Melissa Horne said a system had been put in place for landowners to report any problems.

“We have set up a 24-hour helpline staffed by Victorian Fishers Authority officers to report misconduct around the riverside campsite, as well as continuing our work with the Victorian Police. Victoria to make sure everyone treats these sites with respect.” said Ms. Horne.

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