Locals support plan to attract freedom campers

Tassie council seeking operators for
public camping site at Sisters Beach

Waratah-Wynyard Have your say

TASMANIA'S Waratah-Wynyard Council is looking for operators to run a public camping site at Sisters Beach in the Applie Isle's Rocky Cape National Park.

Locals who once criticised the behaviour of freedom campers, now support the idea of providing "controlled" facilities for the budget-concious RV travellers.

Council community and engagement director Tracey Bradley said the authority sought to be "good hosts" of visitors to the area.

"And we would like them to be good guests when they come to our place," she stressed.

"To achieve that we'll give a high level of warm, welcoming support ... but we will also put in place the measures to protect the values and environments important to us."

In a statement, the council said public camping had been considered as part of several reports relating to Sisters Beach.

After consulting the area's community to determine need, identifying site requirements and considering appropriate management models, the council adopted a motion to begin an expression of interest process to find an operator for a public camping site.

This would enable the council to consider the viability and public interest in establishing the site.

The consultation process was supported by the council-formed Sisters Beach Working Group.

A discussion paper on public camping in Sisters Beach was distributed to the community for comment.

"The discussion paper was developed to enable broad comments rather than yes/no responses," Ms Bradley said.

"The comments were constructive and provided details of why public camping at Sisters Beach was either supported or not considered appropriate."

Supporters noted the increase of vibrancy in the community and the economic value to the community as positives.

Opponents raised issues including traffic management and the impacts on the singular access road into Sisters Beach.

The expression of interest process will close on October 9.

In a letter to local newspaper The Advocate, resident Charlie Jacobson said the community was aware just how valuable freedom campers were.

"They would rather a low/no cost camp and spend their money enjoying local eateries and shops," he wrote.

"They won't spend their limited budget on high cost caravan parks with facilities that most do not need.

"There's an opening here for caravan parks to provide low-cost overnight sites for users who only need limited safe facilities, with, say, a PAYG laundry and a dump point."


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