Travel bug

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

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

Proser­pine

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