Illegal campers and alcohol addressed in camping strategy

HELPING the council fine illegal campers and allowing alcohol to be consumed in caravan parks are two of several recommendations in the region's camping study.

Chaired by Geoff Redpath and driven by tourism councillor Stuart Taylor, the Camping Options Stakeholders Group has met for the past eight months to form strategies to grow the region's camping market in the future.

On Wednesday, the Camping Options Strategy is expected to be endorsed by councillors at their meeting in Hervey Bay.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Cr Taylor said the comprehensive report documented how valuable the camping sector was to the region and what changes could be made to grow it.

Currently domestic overnight expenditure is valued at $247 million to the Fraser Coast.

Cr Taylor said recommendations made included classifying council caravan sites as wet areas to allow campers to drink alcohol and allowing pets into the parks.

Because the parks are listed as public spaces, consumption of alcohol is not allowed.

The issue of illegal camping at places, such as the All Abilities Playground car park in Pialba, was mentioned by the group.

Cr Taylor said a new system such closing the car park overnight would allow compliance officers to issue a parking infringement to campers.

He said this would be attached to the car ensuring vehicle hire companies would chase up the occupants.

Cr Taylor said the main point raised by the stakeholder group was improving infrastructure for recreational vehicles and caravans.

"The number one request from me personally - getting a dump point in Hervey Bay," he said.

Currently, there are three places for campers to dump waste in Maryborough, but none in the Bay.

The council also has several basic camping grounds which are free to use.

A recommendation from the report was to charge a $10 fee which would then be put back into the grounds.