MOVES to create a conservation reserve along much of the Murray River have found scores of private assets, including homes, sitting on Crown land.
The Victorian Government is establishing the Murray River Park to protect more than 1000km of river frontage.
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The park will not be continuous but will cover large sections of river frontage, beginning near Lake Hume in the east and ending near the Murray-Sunset National Park in the west.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has been surveying the area to establish where Crown land boundaries lie before it draws up the park boundaries.
DSE and Parks Victoria have told landowners their riverfront grazing licences will be phased out by 2014.
In a number of instances, they have also told landowners that parts of their homes and other structures either straddle the crown land boundary or stand entirely on public land.
DSE last week refused to quantify how many cases of "Crown land encroachment" the surveying work had revealed.
But it is believed that the homes, sheds, pump sheds, orchards, vegetable gardens, stockyards and other private assets partly or fully on Crown land could number in the hundreds.
Landowner anger over the implications of the Murray River Park were on show at a public meeting in Swan Hill recently.
"Why would anyone want to buy a riverside property with that sort of issue hanging over them?" Mr Walsh said.
He also claimed Parks Victoria was looking to remove pumps on the river at a time when the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project was pushing for more direct river pumping as it moved to close down channels.
The Weekly Times spoke to some landowners who intended to dispute the accuracy of DSE's surveying.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said there had been "many instances of small encroachments on to the Crown land" over 170 years of European settlement along the river.
The spokesman said DSE had no intention of compulsorily acquiring homes found to be on Crown land.
"Where there are no or only minor encroachments, the existing Crown land boundary will form the park boundary," the spokesman said.
"Where there are significant encroachments, such as houses, the park boundary will exclude them."
He said the future for any other private assets found on Crown land would be "determined on a case-by-case basis but, in the meantime, the status quo remains".