AS A long-term resident of the Whitsundays, it concerns me greatly that yet another year is passing without a decision on providing a stay for self contained caravans and RVs.
We are missing out on a great slice of the tourist market by allowing thousands of road travellers to pass us by.
My husband Alan is a volunteer at the Information Centre in Proserpine (where) the most frequent question asked is where can we stay for a few days.
They then proceed north to Guthalungra, Home Hill or beyond.
Perhaps unless those in a position to make this happen have actually travelled across Australia in a self-contained vehicle and seen for themselves the benefits that these free or minimal charge areas bring you cannot understand.
As it’s been pointed out many times, those that have no need for power, water, toilets or any other facilities just want a safe place to stop.
They then will buy food, fuel, trips, souvenirs, etc.
Caravan parks will not miss out as these travellers will not stay at a caravan park every night. Caravan parks provide facilities that attract a totally different type of traveller.
I understand that Wilmar has offered a section of land that is not used on the corner of the Bruce Highway and Taylor street.
A sign could be placed at the entry saying “selfcontained vehicles only, no tents, 72 hours maximum stay, please take your rubbish with you, security patrols this area, enjoy your stay” or something similar.
You just have to look north to Home Hill and Babinda to see what a difference welcoming road travellers and allowing them to park for free has done for those towns.
Home Hill was dying a few years ago as was Babinda. Now they are thriving.
There is no better time to get this off the ground for the Whitsundays after so many businesses have been damaged by Cyclone Debbie.
I sincerely hope common sense will prevail and between the chambers of commerce in Proserpine and Airlie, the council and the tourism association something will be decided without delay.
— Olga Dufty