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Basic camping fee axed in Victorian National Parks
The Victorian Government has handed campers an early Easter gift by dumping camping fees for more than 500 basic camp sites.
The previous Victorian Government had introduced a $13 fee for basic camp sites, as well as increases to fees for other types of camp grounds in national parks, in a bid to boost maintenance.
On Thursday (2nd April), Victorian Environment Minister Lisa Neville said the fee for 536 camp sites at 70 camp grounds had been axed.
People who have already paid for Easter camping will be entitled to a refund.
The booking system for basic sites, which are unserviced and have either a pit toilet or no toilet, will also be phased out by 1st July.
Parks Victoria has also been asked to review the fee structure for other camp grounds to see if it is fair and whether it may adversely affect visitor numbers.
Minister Neville said the basic camp fee had turned away some campers and while the fee had been designed to raise $600,000 she explained “all it resulted in was massive administration for Parks Victoria and costs associated with that and a lot of red tape.
"It also meant we saw a lot less people using it."
In opposition, Labor also attacked the previous Government for cutting $88 million from the Parks Victoria budget since 2011.
Minister Neville stated “we want Victorian families to have an affordable holiday and get a chance to experience our great national parks.”
The Victorian National Parks Association welcomed the decision to axes the fee.
Spokesman Phil Ingamells stated “access to parks is very important to the general health of the community and we think any access should be encourage at all levels of the community."
2nd April 2015 - PARKS VICTORIA ENCOURAGES PLANNING FOR EASTER VISITS
27th July 2011 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL PUT THE ‘NATIONAL’ INTO NATIONAL PARKS
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