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UnitedFuture: Walking Access Bill Satisfies UnitedFuture Concerns

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

30 July 2008 - UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is satisfied with the overall outcome of the Local Government and Environment select committee's consideration of the Walking Access Bill.

"The Walking Access Bill that originally went before the committee did not go far enough to entrench the rights of the public to access public resources such as rivers, lakes, fish and game animals," said Mr Dunne.

"I was very concerned that the Bill as introduced did not advocate for free public access to recreational resources. The establishment of 'walkways' directly discriminated against hunters, four-wheel drivers and some fishermen from their right to use unformed legal roads to access public resources such as rivers, lakes and game animals.

"I am pleased to see that this issue has been addressed by the committee and the relevant clauses amended or deleted.

"Such a restriction had the ability to prevent a huge number of people from participating in outdoor recreation activities.

"The other major problem with the Bill, not adequately addressed by the committee, is that the proposed access agency has no formal power to resolve disputes between the public and landowners.

"UnitedFuture believes the proposed access agency needs to have the formal power to actually resolve access disputes as well as being an advocate for the establishment of public access-ways."

"Without such power the access agency is merely a facilitator in the dispute between those wishing to gain public access and landowners trying to prevent that from happening," said Mr Dunne.

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