11 Jun 2011

Freedom camping bill step closer to law

8:45 am on 11 June 2011

Legislation to restrict freedom camping has passed its first reading in Parliament.

Under the Freedom Camping Bill, councils will be able impose a $200 fine on anyone caught camping illegally and prosecute them for dumping sewage from their vans.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says freedom campers are being sent a message that fouling the environment is not acceptable.

But Labour MP Damien O'Connor says a lack of public toilets is the real problem, not only for people camping but for all visitors.

The bill passed its first reading on Thursday by 108 votes to 10 and was sent to a select committee.