Freedom Camping
Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 11:10AM
Bill Barclay

We all love the landscape, and appreciate the ability to stop in remote places to enjoy what is on offer.

Those who write to the HH to defend these rights and criticise those who wish to see some level of control over the rapid expansion of unserviced camping vans, particularly in our District, may be well advised to contemplate the effect of the recent announcement by Tim Alpe (Chairman of Tourism Holdings) of an expansion in the JUCY fleet of some 400 vehicles leading up to the RWC. The other companies (mainly Australian) who own franchises such as WICKED and ESCAPE are no doubt contemplating similar expansion of their second hand import fleets of Toyota people movers.

Fully equipped motor home owners get very emotional about this issue, even though the proposed controls, or rather implementation of the existing by-laws, are not primarily aimed at them. As with 1080, it is not an argument on which all the angels are all on one side. Ratepayers may however dwell on the fact that a single rural toilet, once paid for, costs around $12,000 per annum to service.

Those who say that we should just set them up wherever  there is the greatest demand are being a little disingenuous. The State government pays for camping site and composting toilet facilities at 100Km intervals on the main inter-state highways in Western Australia. There is no such likelihood of central government coming to the party here. In the meantime faecal pollution of favourite stopping sites will continue apace. On the other hand, the Department of Conservation provides magnificent facilities throughout the Peninsular for those seeking space and solitude.

Council cannot keep on putting off dealing with this issue through "workshopping". More resources are needed to police the existing by-laws. The paper presented to the 8 December meeting recommended this course of action after a year of consultation and contemplation. Further delay is just procrastination.



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