Murwillumbah should start seeing a lot more recreational vehicles (RV) in town after Tweed Shire Council’s recent approval of a development application for RV-friendly campsites at the showground.
The Murwillumbah Showground Trust’s plan for a ‘primitive camping ground’ could see the showground accommodate around 26 RVs at any one time.
The use of RVs by ‘Grey Nomads’ (retirees travelling around Australia) is on the rise and similar set-ups at showgrounds or other council areas on the northern rivers have sprung up as a result.
Tweed council’s general manager Troy Green said it was planned to establish another RV-suitable camping location in the short term, as council worked closely with tourism body Destination Tweed, the community and relevant industry groups to achieve that.
’Tweed Shire Council is very supportive of finding suitable alternative sites to seek to tap into the freedom camping market,’ Mr Green said.
‘Council has been consulting with local industry groups, the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia and community associations to get their feedback and input into suitable alternative sites, with an emphasis on finding sites in Tweed hinterland villages such as Burringbar, Uki and Tyalgum.’
The search follows lobbying from the RV community for safe and welcoming campsites in Tweed Shire for RVs.
Campers had previously been staying at Bruce Chick Park, on Tweed Valley Way at Stotts Island, even it was not a dedicated camping site.
But council recently adopted a new management plan for the park banning overnight camping because it threatened the environmental and heritage objectives of the park.
‘The new management plan follows extensive community consultation and investigation of the site conditions, environmental constraints and heritage of the area, including its original intended purpose as envisaged by Bruce Chick,’ Mr Green said.
‘While council was very keen to explore the potential of establishing an RV-friendly primitive camping facility at this site, it became evident through site investigations that such a use would unreasonably conflict with the environmental values of the site.
‘RV camping at the site would also require significant management, sewerage services and other facilities which would bring a considering ongoing cost to ratepayers.’
Mr Green said that providing an RV-suitable campsite at the showground had the added benefit of supporting a local community group ‘without incurring a cost to ratepayers to provide maintenance and management’.
‘The showground’s close proximity to town means local businesses are also likely to benefit,’ he said.
Tweed River Agricultural Society Secretary, Cynthia Hanger, said the primitive campsite would be a valuable asset for the district and immensely beneficial to the local business community.