THE Victorian government has given the first hint of a possible backdown on some of the regulations regarding camping on licenced river frontages which prompted a rally on the steps of Parliament House on Tuesday.
North-East landowners were well represented among the estimated 200 protesters who made the trip to Melbourne for the rally where National Party state leader Peter Walsh and Victorian Farmers Federation president Emma Germano were among the speakers.
The regulations are due to come into effect on September 1, but the government extended consultation period based on fierce backlash to their impacts including major concerns around legal liability in the event a camper is seriously injured or killed on private property.
The Andrews Labor government has previously steadfastly stated it would be honouring its election commitment to further open up crown land for public use.
The Border Mail contacted the office of fishing and boating minister Melissa Horne about when the government would formally respond.
"We continue to engage with a number of key stakeholders," a government spokesperson said.
"We understand how important it is to get this election commitment right.
"We will have more to say soon."
IN OTHER NEWS
Inside parliament and in response to questions from Mr Walsh, the minister for environment and climate change Lily D'Ambrosio confirmed there had been 1100 submissions received during the consultation period.
"All concerns and all their issues will be taken fully into account and biodiversity and environmental standards are absolutely at the forefront of out considerations," she said.
"Our government is always committed to implementing election commitments and that is exactly what we are doing."
But Mitta Valley farmer Thomas Giltrap said he was disappointed the minister didn't acknowledge those protesting outside.
"We were very disappointed in her response," he said.
"We haven't had a victory yet, but it's not over and we've had a good turnout today."
Mr Walsh said: "Questions relating to waste management, water quality, bushfire risk, vulnerable species, biosecurity, public liability and protection of stock have not been addressed by the Labor government.
"Does the Labor government really expect our hard-working farmers to issue camping permits, protect livestock and farm biosecurity, rotate campers, clean up waste, protect habitat, perform bank regeneration works and manage their farms?"
The Greens spokesperson for the environment Ellen Sandell also spoke.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley praised organisers of the rally.
"This was a fantastic turnout from our region," he said.
"Travelling four hours to get down to parliament, a real show of passion and some of the best signs and props at any rally we've seen here.
"And then the minister's response to a question in question time was arrogant, disrespectful, misleading and an insult to a large number of people in the gallery who had travelled down for the rally."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: