THE Victorian Government is proposing to raise fees for camping and roofed accommodation in national parks in a bid to make up for a massive budget shortfall at Parks Victoria. The proposed fees are expected to be introduced on March 1 next year.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the shortfall was as much as $178 million.
“By introducing a system where users pay for the standard of facilities and service provided at camping grounds, Parks Victoria will have the funds needed to operate within its means,” said Mr Smith.
The government has released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) which outlines the costs associated with delivering camping and accommodation facilities in Victoria’s national parks and the investment required to make sure the facilities remain open and up to a suitable standard.
The RIS also outlines a proposal for adjustments which Mr Smith described as “modest”. He said the changes would not affect Victoria‘s status as one of the most affordable states with regard to camping in national parks.
Fees at camping grounds with the highest level of services, such as Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory, are set to rise to $66 for a powered site (currently $55) and from $33 up to $59 for a non-powered site. Cabin accommodation at the Prom is set to increase from the current rate of $195 to $236 per night. At basic camping grounds such as Bear Gully in Cape Liptrap Coastal Park, where currently there is no fee, the proposal is to charge campers $13.
The RIS is available for review and comments at www.depi.vic.gov.au/camping. The public is invited to comment by the close of business on November 22.