Communities must be heard on future of River Red Gum parks
Tuesday 19 September 2017
Community consultation with Murray River towns must be a priority in the development of a management plan that will determine the future use of River Red Gum parks, Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said.
Mr McCurdy said the Parks Victoria River Red Gum Parks Draft Management Plan was causing concern among Murray River communities who could be negatively impacted by elements of the proposal.
“Cobram residents and businesses in particular that rely on tourism stand to be impacted by this management plan which may include camping restrictions and the introduction of camping fees and bookable sites,” Mr McCurdy said.
“There could potentially be a huge impact on regional towns that rely on the tourism industry to generate income and remain viable.
“If this management plan is going to result in beaches being closed down or access being restricted, thereby removing the very attractions that bring visitors to our towns, that’s not on.”
Mr McCurdy said Cobram residents had expressed concerns about a lack of community consultation on the plan and that a drop in session held in Cobram was difficult for people to attend.
“Local business operators in Cobram including Sam Kennedy and Ray Fitzpatrick have major concerns with the concept,” he said.
“I have asked for a full briefing from Parks Victoria.
“We need to be very careful that this is not the beginning of the end of free local camping on our local beaches.”
The River Red Gum Parks Draft Management Plan outlines the proposed management of more than 100 parks and reserves covering more than 215,000 ha along the Murray, Ovens and Goulburn rivers from Wodonga to the South Australian border.