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25 January, 2022

Mayor defends planning changes

TABLELANDS Mayor Rod Marti has defended the proposed changes to the planning scheme and has invited caravan park owners to meet with council over their concerns.

Cr Marti said the proposal to allow RVs and caravans to stay at private properties had arisen out of the RV Management Strategy which had been developed in consultation with a community reference group that involved some local caravan parks.

It was also designed to drive growth and diversity of the region’s tourism industry, but he was adamant the proposal was never intended to undermine existing caravan parks. 

“It was made clear that the intentions of the amendments were not to take business from commercial caravan parks, but rather to ensure there are sufficient options to meet the variety of needs and to accommodate the expected increase in the market,” Mayor Marti said. 

“The intent is not to compete but rather offer an alternative product for campers who prefer wilderness and/or private camping. This will attract more of these types of visitors. 

“The amendments may also benefit caravan park owners as an additional six (and up to 20 in selected cases) self-contained RV sites could now be added to an existing tourist park under accepted development, subject to requirements.” 

He rejected any concern over grey water disposal on private properties, asserting that the proposed amendments included “provisions to ensure the protection of amenity for adjoining property owners and environmental features of the area”. 

“The fact that the proposed amendments pertain to self-contained RVs only is further protection for the environment. We provide three public dump points across the region,” Cr Marti said. 

He also dismissed concerns about any additional impact upon rural roads. 

“Due to the small number of RVs and general vehicle movements, it is expected the impact on rural roads will be minimal,” he said. 

Council officers would undertake compliance checks of properties hosting RVs to ensure rules were being adhered to and would respond to complaints from the public. 

Cr Marti said the council was genuinely seeking input on the proposed changes to ensure the amended planning scheme “better serves the needs of our entire community”. 

“Depending on the submissions received, we may make minor changes or major changes (to the planned amendments),” he added.

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