The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) has released its final Central West Investigation report into public land use at Victoria’s Wombat, Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests and it raises more questions than answers.
The Liberal Nationals support a broad and diverse system of national, state and regional parks and reserves throughout Victoria and it is critical that all public land is given the resources required to ensure it is not left to become weed infested and inaccessible.
However, the report’s recommendations, if implemented, will significantly limit the activities of long-term bush users such as fire wood gatherers, recreational miners and prospectors, horse riders, four wheel driving enthusiasts, hunters and bush walkers, particularly in Central West Victoria.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment, David Morris:
“It is crucial that we get the balance right about using public land, and that the Andrews Labor Government listens to the community and doesn’t just dictate to them.”
“Public land management must balance accessibility and environmental outcomes; they do not need to be mutually exclusive.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Assistant Minister for Public Land Use, Melina Bath:
“The Andrews Labor Government has lost sight of the concept that public land is exactly that – for the public.”
“The overwhelming majority of submissions were in favour of greater access to public land and Daniel Andrews must listen to these views.”