Plans to reclassify state government-managed parks anger recreationalists, prospectors

A public land rally was held at Maryborough's Goldfields Reservoir on Monday. Picture: Supplied
A public land rally was held at Maryborough's Goldfields Reservoir on Monday. Picture: Supplied

A public land rally was held at Maryborough's Goldfields Reservoir on Monday to raise awareness of the potential reclassification of state government-managed parks. 

The state government last year ordered the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council to report on the wellbeing of land in the vicinity of the Wellsford, Wombat, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests.

The authority is also tasked with making recommendations for “the balanced used and appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural values”, which could include upgrading state forest to national parks. 

Prospectors, horse riders and timber harvesters are concerned their recreational pursuits could be banned in certain areas if new changes are introduced, with some suggesting banning fire wood collection could increase the fire risk in certain forests.

Attendee Wayne McKail said around 150 people were present at the hastily-organised rally, which he considered a success.