GIPPSLAND-based Senator Ricky Muir has labelled proposed changes to Latrobe City Council’s Local Law 2 as “government overreach”.
As council moves to amend its existing local laws to respond to state legislation and community complaints, the Victorian senator has received several concerns from residents.
Imposing permits for launching water vehicles on council waterways and penalties for securing a boat in prohibited areas are among the major changes mooted.
But of particular interest is a new requirement to have a permit to ride recreational vehicles on private property – a proposition Mr Muir rejects.
“Now more than ever it is important for the public to have their say (before 26 February) and potentially bring the proposal to a grinding halt before it impedes on how the public pursue their recreational (activities),” Mr Muir said.
“If we are going to continue taking away recreational pursuits, we are going to head down a very bad path.”
Latrobe City’s latest proposal aims to remove duplication in existing local laws while responding to resident complaints about noise, boating behaviour and long-term storage of vehicles.
While the changes are still under consideration and the public is invited to have its say, some people have taken to social media to express their concerns.
Latrobe City has released a statement justifying the suggested amendments, with mayor Michael Rossiter encouraging the public to comment on the proposal.
“We are not trying to be the ‘fun police’ or telling people what they can and can’t do on private property and public places,” Cr Rossiter said.
“But we do want the community to understand that we deal with complaints on a regular basis about noise, the long-term parking of caravans and trailers on residential roads, or nuisance boating on local waterways.
“We want to be able to work with all members of our community to minimise these unsocial, and sometimes dangerous, activities.”
While Mr Muir intends to make his own submission outlining his concerns, he has reminded individuals to make a submission using the proper avenue.
“Council could then see, by way of count, how many people were opposed and every voice matters,” he said.
The public can have their say on the proposed amendment until 26 February, after which councillors will discuss the local laws at the 21 March council meeting.
To find out more or to submit your view, visit www.latrobe.vic.gov.au and search for Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2015 in the Have Your Say section.