Questions over stock route access for anglers

Could the current review into travelling stock routes in NSW lead to diminished angler access to inland rivers? (Image: Martin Auldist).

A NSW Government review into Travelling Stock Reserves (TSR) has recreational fisherman Brian Dare sounding the alarm and the issue at stake is “access”, according to an article in the Inverell Times.

The review “will feed future decisions about how this land can best be reserved, managed and owned,” Local Land Services has said.

“There are reserves all along the river systems and roads,” Mr Dare said.

In fact, there are 47,000 hectares of TSRs in the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services region alone, and many more in the rest of the state.

The concern for Mr Dare is not that the land will be sold off – Minister for Lands, Forestry and Racing Paul Toole has said that they won’t – but whether more TSRs will become subject to long-term grazing permits.

The five-year licenses do not allow graziers and landholders to stop the public from accessing the land but they do allow them to lock the gates. “Local fishing clubs don’t realise what’s happening,” Mr Dare said. Neither do most horse riders, bushwalkers, birdwatchers, picnickers, Aboriginal families and others who don’t realise the crown land they’re using to access tracks, fishing spots and bushland, are under a TSR review, he added.

“Most of the anglers travel a long way to get to the TSRs,” he said. “What I’m frightened of is coming across a reserve to take my grandchildren to the river and find we’ve been locked out by the local landholder.”

Reassurances that the gates could be unlocked with keys from the Local Land Services office were little consolation when the offices were many kilometres away and closed on weekends, Mr Dare said.

The review was publicised to a “broad range of stakeholders”, a spokesperson for the Lands Minister said in a statement. 

A workshop held in Tamworth recently, on a related pilot project within the review process, was attended by stakeholders including droving, farming, apiary, conservation, Aboriginal and recreational fishing organisations, where concerns about public and grazing access to TSRs in the area were raised.

No response was given about whether the review’s findings will be used to determine increases in the use of five year leases for graziers, or if the amount of unlocked public access to TSRs is at stake in the review process.

Submissions close Friday 5pm, July 7. For more information click HERE.

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