Returning home after travelling for over three months in Queensland, I read with interest that Lawrence Golf Club was to become an RV stopover for travellers. I then read that the original plan to enable 20 vehicles to stay overnight, was being reduced to 10. Hardly worthwhile, if numbers are limited to 10. Why would council place restrictions on numbers in such an open environment?
What we have noticed is that Queensland is so proactive encouraging RV’s to their areas. NSW is really lacking in these areas especially on the coast. The council in Rockhampton have allocated a no frills area right in town with a 48 hour maximum stay. Maryborough which was very RV unfriendly, has now approved an area similar to Rockhampton and are also looking at leasing some unused ground at the airport for overnight stays. Many country pubs are allowing overnight stays and are reaping the benefits as are community halls, schools grounds and private farming areas. I might point out also, that security is heightened when people are staying overnight too and the instances of vandalism has decreased in most places.
The RV market is growing at an amazing rate, and with many more baby boomers hitting the roads each year, they all need somewhere to stay. With advancements in the manufacture of RV’s especially the motorhome market, the need to stay in overpriced caravan parks is diminishing. The older market don’t need jumping castles, and to be squeezed in like sardines. They have all their facilities on board, and can contain their grey water for days. They have solar power and fresh water tanks. Those relying on pensions, budget, and to be able to stay at RV friendly destinations for a small cost enables them to spend their dollars over a wide selection of business places in that town. So everyone is a winner and is really appreciated in small country towns.
Council need look, at how to encourage, more RV’s to the area. Grafton and Maclean both have the RV status and provide excellent places to stay overnight. They both offer a fair price for the facilities on offer.
Maclean Showground is a clear example of how popular our area has become with the travellers. It is here, Council really need to increase the numbers permitted to stay each night. With the 10 site maximum currently in place, it is causing issues most nights. As you can’t book prior, you might drive hundreds of kilometres arriving at 4pm, the 10 sites are long gone. The question is where do they park now? It is too late to find somewhere else. They either break the rules and stay or park along the river, or wherever they find a suitable spot for the night, which then becomes another issue for the rangers and can become not only dangerous to other road users, but a potential safety issue to themselves as well.
I believe there need be rules in place, however these rules need be adhered too. The caretaker must move on non-qualifying vehicles and assure at all times, those staying are abiding by the rulings. It is a privilege to be able to stay in such lovely areas at a reasonable cost, and we need assure these areas stay open for all to use in the coming years.
Carol Randall, Gulmarrad