Bookings ‘recipe for conflict’

By Country News

Victoria’s recreational fishing peak body has called for plans to introduce bookable camp sites across the Murray River red gum parks to be canned, saying it’s a recipe for conflict.

The initiative was announced in Parks Victoria’s River Red Gums Parks Management Plan, which outlines a strategy for managing the parks over the next 15 years.

‘‘Imagine setting up camp at your favourite fishing spot, where your family have visited for generations, to only have someone then turn up asking you to leave because they booked it online 12 months ago,’’ VRFish chair Rob Loats said.

‘‘It’s a ridiculous thought-bubble and a dangerous recipe for unnecessary conflict,’’ he said.

‘‘If people want the convenience to be assured accommodation then that’s what nearby caravan parks and hotels are for, which benefits the regional economy.’’

Parks Victoria recently released the 15-year plan for the future management and protection of more than 100 parks and reserves, covering more than 215000ha along the Murray, Ovens and Goulburn Rivers.

The planning area includes Australia’s iconic river red gum forests and several internationally significant wetlands, including a diverse range of flora, fauna and threatened species.

There are also highly significant indigenous sites, post-settlement heritage sites and geological sites within the planning area.

The plan identifies priorities to improve ecosystem health and habitat connectivity, and supports environmental watering to improve natural processes, reduce grazing pressure and predation, reduce aquatic pests and reduce weed invasion and impacts.