Overnight RV park­ing gets the go ahead

Cres­cent St RV spot has the go ahead from coun­cil

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - Eliza Goetze Eliza.Goetze@news-mail.com.au

MOTORHOME own­ers who roll into Childers will be per­mit­ted to stay overnight fol­low­ing the ap­proval of an ap­pli­ca­tion to Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil.

The Childers Cham­ber of Com­merce, backed by lo­cal busi­nesses, cam­paigned for the past three years for change to the Cres­cent St car park – which cur­rently has signs mark­ing bans on overnight stays.

“It’s a big bonus and it’s go­ing to in­ject a hell of a lot of new rev­enue into the lo­cal econ­omy,” Cham­ber sec­re­tary Ge­off Bas­sett said.

“Be­com­ing an RV friendly town will put us on the map.”

Cr Bill Trevor con­firmed the idea had the green light fol­low­ing a meet­ing ear­lier this year in­volv­ing the coun­cil, the cham­ber, Bund­aberg North Bur­nett Tourism, in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives and lo­cal park op­er­a­tors.

“A de­ci­sion was reached that will al­low RV’s to stay overnight for 20 hours which is in line with cur­rent Main Roads pro­ce­dure,” Cr Trevor said.

“An information pack is be­ing de­vel­oped and will be de­liv­ered by BNBT staff to peo­ple us­ing the overnight park­ing op­tion with the pack con­tain­ing vis­i­tor information in­clud­ing de­tails of lo­cal parks if the vis­i­tor chooses to stay for a fur­ther night.

“Overnight park­ing is now a well- es­tab­lished model to which many councils sub­scribe in an ef­fort to drive eco­nomic ben­e­fit for their com­mu­ni­ties.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Cam­per­van and Motorhome Club of Aus­tralia, the 55-70-year-old “grey no­mad” de­mo­graphic have more dis­pos­able in­come than any other tourist seg­ment, and spend $66 to $73 a day while on the road.

“They’re out there to spend,” Mr Bas­sett said.

“We’ve been work­ing on this over three years with TMR and the coun­cil, get­ting a dump point, fresh wa­ter and park­ing in­stalled.

“The mark­ings are down and we’re hop­ing to ‘cut the rib­bon’ on Oc­to­ber 1.”

BNBT chair Michael Owen said the idea was “a no-brainer”.

“Any­thing that at­tracts peo­ple to stay in Childers, a jewel of the area – to stay longer and spend more – is a good idea for the whole econ­omy,” Mr Owen said.

“Thou­sands of cars each day drive through Childers, and it’s im­por­tant we get them to spend here.”

The RV friendly con­cept was a niche that would aid the econ­omy “in ways peo­ple don’t think about”, he said. “It’s not just milk, bread and pies, but tyres, re­pairs, elec­tri­cal pur­chases, health ser­vices.”

But lo­cal car­a­van park op­er­a­tors feel it will only make busi­ness tougher.

Childers Tourist Park owner So­raya Lacey said the Cres­cent St spot had been used as an overnight spot il­le­git­i­mately “for years”.

“What can we do? We’ve been here 16 years,” she said.

“I don’t dis­agree with (overnight stops) in the right ar­eas, but here, tax­pay­ers are fund­ing all this when there are per­fectly good places for peo­ple to stay.”

Be­com­ing an RV friendly town will put us on the map. — Ge­off Bas­sett

PHOTO: PAUL DONALDSON

RE­LAX­ING RE­GION: RV own­ers Ken and Judy Reed from Wol­lon­gong with dog Charley plan on returning to the Bund­aberg re­gion.

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