Rules for camping on licenced Victorian Crown land river frontages have been substantially tightened in response to widespread condemnation of the state government's election promise to open up more spots.
A day after the new camping regulations were meant to begin, the Victorian government has moved to allay landowner concerns by halving the number of nights campers can stay at one site from 28 to 14 and no camping is allowed within 200 metres of a home.
But the Andrews Labor government still hasn't revealed the locations of 27 campsites along the Ovens, Goulburn, Broken, Loddon and Campaspe rivers.
Other significant changes include a ban on dogs, no entry or crossing private property without permission, leave gates as found, no disturbance of livestock, portable toilets must be at least 50 metres from rivers and not on private property, all rubbish must be taken on departure and a ban on collecting firewood.
More than 1100 submissions were made to the contentious plans with Mitta and Murray valley farmers being among the most local opponents.
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In response to landholder liability concerns camping will only be allowed in designated spots.
"Should an incident occur, each individual case would be considered on its merits through the legal process," the government response said.
"Access or passage via private property is trespass, and not permitted without the permission of the landowner, occupier."
Mitta Valley farmer Thomas Giltrap said some commonsense had returned.
"Agriculture licence holders and the environment have had a couple of wins," he said.
"The prevention of pets, especially dogs, to camp grounds is a win.
"The no collection of firewood and no campfires in riparian works areas are also areas where commonsense has prevailed thankfully."
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley also described the changes as a "huge win" for rural areas of his electorate.
"This was a massive overreach by a government that continues to creep into our lives so the end result that doubles the distance from a house, cuts the length of stay in half, stops the collection of firewood and bans dogs have all come about because local landholders championed commonsense," he said.
"There were almost 600 online submissions statewide and about one in five came from this office"
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