Overflow camping in the Highlands discontinued
THE Central Highlands Regional Council is stopping overflow camping services for tourists and grey nomads at showgrounds in several towns in accordance with a court ruling.
The November 2018 Planning and Environment Court ruling found the Rockhampton Regional Council’s use of a city park to accommodate overnight visitors was unlawful under the Planning Act 2016 (Qld), as it was not part of the park’s primary function.
Communities general manager John McDougall said the court ruling spread to all Queensland councils.
“After carefully analysing overflow camping services offered at council’s showgrounds, we have found that while it is different to Rockhampton’s situation it also does not comply with the Act,” he said.
“As a result, this use won’t be permitted at the grounds from now until we can find a lawful solution under the legislation and our planning scheme.”
The overflow camping sites were only operated if all commercial caravan parks were full. The sites were also limited to a maximum number of vans.
The Emerald, Springsure, Blackwater, and Capella showgrounds will be affected by the decision.
“We will be working in partnership with our commercial operators to look at how we can re-introduce this service to our valued tourists, particularly the grey nomads who bring an important and measurable economic benefit to our communities,” Mr McDougall said.
“This will form part of a wider review of council camping provisions across the Central Highlands, to better define the role council plays in facilitating tourism in our region.”