Council Upgrades Four Free Camp Reserves but Town Trial Ends

Goondiwindi Regional Council resolved at its meeting today not to continue the trial of the free camping site in town.

Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu says that while the issue attracted vigorous debate, council agreed in the end that it could not warrant investing extra ratepayer’s funds into the possibility of extending the trial.

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“While tourism and the drive market were major contributors to the regional economy, Council needs to ensure it made decisions that were financially responsible. We have excellent free camp reserves on offer and we were pleased to learn that some of the caravan parks have now decided to offer a low-cost camping option.”

He said the Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy had notified Council its preliminary view was that the trial should not be extended.

“We were presented with just two options: either discontinue the town free camping trial or inject further resources into the management of the site in order to demonstrate a suitable level of compliance to extend the trial.”

“Compliance was by far the biggest issue as the trial was highly unregulated.”

Councillor Scheu says Council was fortunate enough to benefit from Works for Queensland funding in upgrading a number of riverside reserves like Rainbow, Yellow Bank, Lees and Bengalla Reserves.

“Local Government Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe inspected the reserves today as part of his Goondiwindi Regional Council visit.”

Council will negotiate with DNRME to arrange a transitional period for the closure of the town trial.