You may recall an article I wrote in regards to access on stock and water reserves, with fishing in mind.
Well, that consultation paper was put out in 2019 and you were all given from April 8 to May 10, 2019 to make comment.
I wrote about one council that actually took into account tourism and recreational needs, which included fishing freshwater rivers and streams using canoes, kayaks, tinnies and walking along riverbanks.
The council I wrote about was the Goondiwindi Regional Council – given the work they have done, it would be an ideal format to follow throughout Queensland.
It’s now going to be – from what I read between the lines – a user-pays format.
This is the new form for most states, though I think our state is the second cab off the rank to do so.
When it comes to using travelling stock and water reserves and Crown land for camping, the 14-day maximum at Goondiwindi is more than generous – even five days is more than enough.
Finding the locations is another matter – the maps required for camping need to list all reserves and water in each local government authority.
This then comes down to input from locals, visitors, anglers, bushwalkers, campers, fish-stocking groups, bicycle riders, horse riders, photography groups, bird watchers, seed collectors, apiary locations for honey collecting… the list goes on.
All are entitled to a say, and to do so as soon as possible… tourist associations included.
We can all sit around wailing and wringing our hands, saying they won’t do that… yes, they absolutely will!
It’s time to get proactive – either by making comment yourself or as a group – and put in your two bobs worth for these locations to be kept open for our recreational use.
You will need to obtain local government authority regional maps to find locations you want kept open, including our bush river beaches.
These maps will have location numbers… you’ve possibly even driven past some not knowing they were reserves.
Our biggest drawback is the use of these locations by grubs who use these areas, leaving rubbish behind and trashing public-use facilities – it’s time for cameras to be utilised.
In most cases, there would be the need to fence off a section of the reserve with an access road to the river or stream bed, camping location and such.
A gate put in place so that stock have access to food and water, no road or track in this section, with access only for drovers, stock, horse riders, bushwalkers, bicyclists and photography enthusiasts.
Having now caught your attention, if you want to find out more and obtain a copy of first the media statement by the Queensland Minister for Resources Scott Stewart, go to statements.qld.gov.au/statements/97245 – also in this publication on page 77.
Then, go to the Department of Resources to get a copy of the Stock Route Network Management Strategy 2021-2025 – resources.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/1550304/stock-route-management-strategy-2020-25.pdf
I have a few questions that need answers…
- Will we still be able to access river locations to fish and restock fish yearly?
- Will all access points to the rivers and streams have signs ‘Angler access. Recreational use’?
- Will an access fee be charged for recreational use?
- Will fishings clubs still have to stock fish species within the water and stock reserves, or will an access fee cover this?
- Will we be locked out from our bush beaches due to any changes?
- Are we able to obtain region by region maps of locations where water reserves and stock reserves are Crown land?
On page 13 of the Stock Route Network Management Strategy 2021-2025 – relationship with the Stock Route Management Act 2002 legislative principles – there are seven points we need to consider:
- Public awareness
- Consultation and partnership
- Payment for use
- Monitoring and evaluation.
Let’s move on to the policy for fish stocking in Queensland 2020 Freshwater – daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/1552330/fish-stocking-in-qld-policy.pdf
On page 22 of the 68-page policy:
Proposals to stock for recreational fishing purposes must ensure public access is normally available to stocked fishing locations (noting that from time-to-time infrastructure operators may introduce temporary closures for operational or public safety reasons).
Public access is particularly important for the SIPS as public money is used for stocking. Maintenance of public access may require negotiations with adjacent landholders, water storage operators and other government departments.
So there you have it… for the moment.
Don’t whinge or sit on your hands – write to your local council and have your say!