ROUGH­ING IT

SAVVY IP­SWICH HOME­OWN­ERS CASH IN ON CMC CAMP­ING SELL­OUT

The Queensland Times - - FRONT PAGE - Emma Clarke emma.clarke@qt.com.au

EX­PLOD­ING de­mand for ac­com­mo­da­tion in Ip­swich dur­ing next year’s CMC Rocks fes­ti­val has forced coun­try mu­sic fans to think out­side the box.

So-called feral sheds and back­yard tents might not seem like an ideal way to sleep off a big day at a mu­sic fes­ti­val, but vis­i­tors are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly des­per­ate for ac­com­mo­da­tion and Ip­swich res­i­dents ap­pear to be cash­ing in.

Home-own­ers and ten­ants are giv­ing up their own homes for the cause, with ad­ver­tise­ments on Air B n B in­clud­ing one of­fer­ing of a pri­vate room at Le­ich­hardt that boasts ‘a feral shed with a fold out bed, tin walls, con­crete floor with peel­ing paint’.

And all this for $20 a night.

“FERAL” sheds, a mat on the floor and a tent in the back­yard are fast be­com­ing prime hol­i­day real es­tate in Ip­swich as CMC Rocks fans look for some­where to hang up their boots for the night.

Car­a­van parks and mo­tels across the city are at ca­pac­ity for the March week­end next year and fes­ti­val-go­ers with­out a place to stay yet are run­ning out of op­tions.

Home-own­ers and ten­ants are giv­ing up their own homes in a bid to cash in on des­per­ate fans.

One list­ing on Air B n B for a pri­vate room at Le­ich­hardt boasts “a feral shed with a fold-out bed, tin walls, con­crete floor with peel­ing paint”.

“It does have a mat on the floor, though. The place is great for some­one on a very tight bud­get. It’s dirt cheap and is bet­ter than sleep­ing on the street,” the list­ing reads.

The best part is the hum­ble abode is avail­able for $20 a night.

An­other op­tion in­cludes a “very unique NASA mas­sage chair” but at a cost of $70 a night while a third al­ter­na­tive is a “car­port with an out­door pow­erpoint”.

“If you need a toi­let, you need to bring that with you as there is no out­door toi­let. There are out­door taps you can hook up to for wa­ter. In the list­ing where it says real bed and bed­room is be­cause there is no other box to tick for zero bed­rooms... and to list it you must tick one of the boxes,” it says.

Hap­pily, that will only set des­per­ate hol­i­day-mak­ers back $17 a night.

At the other end of the ac­com­mo­da­tion market, lux­ury ho­tel suits are ad­ver­tised on­line for $1400 for four nights while a bed­room in some­one’s apart­ments is selling for $256 for the week­end.

They’re about all the op­tions that are left af­ter prime lo­ca­tions like Wil­low­bank Car­a­van Park were snapped up in a mat­ter of hours of fes­ti­val dates be­ing an­nounced.

Man­ager Kim Briggs said 22 mo­tel rooms and 16 cab­ins sold within three hours while an­other 600 car­a­van sites sold soon af­ter the artist line-up was re­vealed.

She said the site was at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity for the March week­end.

Ms Briggs said she was keen to join in the fun with the hun­dreds of peo­ple lucky enough to claim their spot at the lo­cal des­ti­na­tion.

In fact, she was so con­scious to make sure fans had a good time, she threw in an ex­tra night for free on the Thurs­day be­fore the fes­ti­val started to help ease traf­fic con­ges­tion on the Cun­ning­ham Hwy on Fri­day.

She said be­hav­iour ex­pec­ta­tions would be made clear be­fore the party started at the car­a­van park and ex­tra se­cu­rity would be brought in.

Ms Briggs said fans should keep an eye on the Wil­low­bank Car­a­van Park Face­book page closer to the event as any can­cel­la­tions would be posted on­line.

While the high take up of ac­com­mo­da­tion has been wel­comed by op­er­a­tors and prop­erty own­ers, the Ip­swich City Coun­cil has is­sued a warn­ing to home own­ers.

Plan­ning, De­vel­op­ment and Her­itage Com­mit­tee Chair­per­son Cr David Mor­ri­son rec­om­mended home own­ers sought ad­vice for their par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tions and cir­cum­stances, con­sid­er­ing the re­quire­ments of the Ip­swich Plan­ning Scheme.

He said it was an emerg­ing is­sue in Ip­swich.

“It has been an is­sue his­tor­i­cally for major tourist des­ti­na­tions and has been chal­leng­ing to reg­u­late as this in­volves short term ac­com­mo­da­tion in in­di­vid­ual rooms in houses or an en­tire house,” Cr Mor­ri­son said.

“This could be on a per­ma­nent, semi-per­ma­nent or ca­sual ba­sis. The chal­lenge here is to dis­tin­guish be­tween these types of tem­po­rary ar­range­ments and a more per­ma­nent rental ar­range­ment in­volv­ing some­thing like a share house.

“The im­pact would largely be the same (i.e. be­tween a fam­ily re­sid­ing in a premises and a share house), it’s the du­ra­tion that is dif­fer­ent.

“The other con­sid­er­a­tion in this is the po­ten­tial im­pact on your neigh­bours. Party houses have been a sig­nif­i­cant neigh­bour­hood is­sue in other tourist des­ti­na­tions.”

For cur­rent reg­u­la­tions, go to: www.ip­swich­plan­ning.com.au

PHOTO: AIRBNB

COME HOME: This shed at Le­ich­hardt is ad­ver­tised to hire for $20 a night. It’s got a desk and a cur­tain but no bed.

PHOTO: AIRBNB

A pow­ered car port is up for grabs for $17 a night. The van is not in­cluded.

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