24 June 2021

Tim Quilty condemns creation of new National Parks which lock out recreational users

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has attacked the Andrews Government over the creation of new National Parks.

The Victorian Government has announced it is reclassifying more than 65,000 hectares of land as National Parks.

This classification locks out all users who enjoy hobbies such as horse riding and fossicking.

Mr Quilty told Parliament on Thursday the move will lead to more land mismanagement and asked Environment Minister Lily d’Ambrosio why park users have been ignored.

“Parks Victoria can’t manage the land they have now. The move will doom well-loved public land to being overrun by weeds and feral animals - currently managed by bush users,” Mr Quilty told Parliament.

“The Minister admits the purpose of the reclassification is to prevent access for bush users.

“Bush Users Group United has condemned the decision – they enjoy caring for the land and managing the forest.

“Minister, why has this government ignored the will of locals who use, manage and care for these forests?”

Mr Quilty said the Government should work with Victorian bush users rather than against them.

“The government should reconsider this attack on the people of Northern and Western Victoria and instead begin to Unlock Victoria and improve bush management by working with, instead of against, the people that use the bush,” Mr Quilty said.

“Liberal Democrats believe we need to unlock Victoria – we shouldn’t be closing our state forests.”