They have worked hard all their lives, maybe fought for the country or suffered through some other hardship and now just want to enjoy an affordable retirement motoring around the countryside with their caravan.
Yet Australia’s growing army of grey nomads are about to be hit with a new tax brought in by Victoria’s Environment Minister, Ryan Smith.
The Australian Country Alliance says the decision to impose taxes on the state's more popular camping sites from 1 July is evidence the Napthine Government is out of touch with the community. The decision has infuriated caravanning and other community clubs.
“Those hoping to have an affordable camping holiday will now pay a tax for the use of our natural environment; something the government had little hand in developing and rarely services. It is one step away from taxing fresh air” upper house candidate Andrew Jones said.
The tax is expected to bring in around $13 million per year.
“Minister Smith said the tax is based on the ‘user-pays’ principle, however his government managed to find a tidy $16 million in the State Budget to spend on upgrading the Arts Centre and National Gallery, so it is obviously acceptable to them to apply the ‘someone else pay’s principle when it comes to the interests of those living in the more expensive parts of Melbourne”, Mr Jones said.
“The new tax hits people who can least afford it to the benefit of the patrons of the Arts Centre’s expensive bars. The Liberal Party may not be interested in helping those who love to go camping but we are. We would encourage any caravan club, community group or business that depends on the camping economy to help us to force the issue in November’s state election. They just have to call us.
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The polices that Country Alliance has provide a balanced range of positions designed to harness and grow regional communities, which creates jobs, which is of special importance to young people also voting for the first time.
In particular, the Country Alliance party is committed to the representation and preservation of the rights and interests of those who live in, work in, or enjoy, rural and regional communities. We believe in equality of access to education, transportation, communication and health care for regional and rural communities. We support freedom of access to the public lands for the responsible pursuit of legitimate employment and recreational activities.
We believe that the land management policies must be guided by and funded to meet the needs of the communities that live adjacent to public land or who access it for their recreation or livelihood.