Threat to public health
Council may step in at Wuruma Dam as camp facilities are stretched to breaking point
WITH hundreds of campers descending on Wuruma Dam’s free campground in holiday periods, North Burnett councillor Paul Francis is concerned about future public health issues.
The free facility has only three toilets, no dump point for caravans, no showers and no potable water.
“When numbers reach a certain level and there just aren’t the facilities to look after them all, this could have some real impacts on the site,” Cr Francis said.
“We have blind-eyed this long enough. We need to get involved.”
A SunWater representative said the State Government-owned corporation shared these concerns, as well as that of illegal rubbish dumping and abuse of the free facilities.
It was now looking to hand over management of the recreational facilities to North Burnett Regional Council.
“This would be in SunWater’s interest as much as the council’s,” Cr Francis said.
“Their focus is on water sales and delivery, so the cost of maintaining the free camp area is currently being passed on to their customers, the farmers.
“Farmers go and see the recreational area and they are not happy about having to pay for it.”
Mayor Don Waugh said the council had tried to engage SunWater in an on-site meeting for years, but SunWater consistently cancelled at late notice.
The council’s engineering manager, Trevor Harvey, questioned whether taking on management of the facility would be in the council’s best interests.
“There are some serious issues at Wuruma that could cost a lot for council to fix,” he said.
But Cr Francis said negotiating an upgrade of the facility or securing a financial contribution from SunWater would be a component of any handover.
“Getting them to seal the roads and make sure everything is in good condition or contributing financially to an upgrade would minimise the burden to our ratepayers,” he said.
Cr Francis said the land could then be transformed into a commercial business, like at Cania Gorge, by employing someone to manage it on the council’s behalf.
FULL HOUSE: Wuruma Dam has become such a popular spot for caravanners that it may cause public health problems in the future.