Re-think needed on camping guidelines

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says the plan to allow people to camp on licenced river frontages shows Labor’s lack of knowledge of biosecurity.

Ms Britnell said under the plan people would be able to camp on river frontages that abut private farmland, but there will be no requirement for people to register where they have been.

She said this posed huge biosecurity risks for farms and could put the sector at risk.

“Farmers work hard to keep diseases and pest species off their farms. They have requirements under biosecurity laws to track and trace who has been on their property.

“Labor’s plans will make that impossible to meet those requirements and will mean farmers could have all manner of pests and diseases introduced with no way of knowing where they have come from.

“These guidelines for waterfront camping show Labor has absolutely no idea about farm biosecurity – despite the COVID pandemic and the importance of contact tracing being at the front of mind.”

Ms Britnell said Labor needed to scrap the plan to allow riverfront camping or at the least make it a requirement for people to register where they have been – as suggested by the Victorian Farmers Federation.

“We know from COVID how important it has been to know where people who have the virus have been – it’s no different for biosecurity on farms,” she said.

“If Labor insist on push ahead with this plan they must at least compel people to register where they have stayed and for how long – as the VFF have proposed in their submission to the draft guidelines.”

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