Eurobodalla Shire Council Media Release
Tuesday 13 September 2005
Eurobodalla Shire Council has convinced the State Government to fix the regulations that control primitive camping grounds. Council owns and manages two primitive camping grounds at North Head and Mystery Bay, and was instrumental in providing recommendations which have been incorporated into a new regulation that came into force on 1 September.
Mayor Fergus Thomson says that the new regulation will allow Councils throughout New South Wales to manage camping grounds in an environmentally sensitive way, and in a manner that reflects the way people camp.
"It took two submissions and a staff deputation, but we managed to get the Minister and his staff to consider our recommendations properly. We got the result we wanted in the end," he said, "and now both Council and the caretakers of our primitive camping grounds can look to the future with certainty."
Under the previous regulation, Council had difficulty meeting the needs of campers because only two tents, caravans or campervans were permitted per hectare of primitive camping ground. Campers at Mystery Bay have blockaded the road and protested strongly when Council tried to enforce the regulation.
In consultation with the Mystery Bay Primitive Camping Ground & Foreshore Reference Group, Council staff prepared a detailed submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources addressing these issues in July. When the recommendations were ignored in the first draft of the new regulation, Council staff met with representatives from the Department of Lands to convince them of the merits of their plan. They were rewarded when the recommendations were incorporated into the new regulation, now called the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005.
Essentially, the changes mean that Council now has a choice to manage its primitive camping grounds in one of the following ways:
Council expects the many family groups who regularly camp at Mystery Bay and North Head primitive camping grounds to be pleased with this outcome.