No free ride for campers

Caravan and motor home owners will now pay $5 per stay to use camping facilities and connect to a power supply at Lyrup’s ss Ellen Park. PHOTO: Will Slee

By MELISSA KEOGH

Caravan and motor home owners will be charged $5 per stay at Lyrup’s ss Ellen Park after the local council implemented a new policy last week.

The fee, to be paid via a collection box located near the toilet facilities, will help the Renmark Paringa Council cover costs of the free power supply currently available.

For the past 12 months, the council has implemented a time limit of no more than 72 hours at the camping ground.

At council’s general monthly meeting last week, director of corporate and community services Nathan Haynes said about 120 surveys were sent to Lyrup residents to gain feedback on the proposed fee and time limit.

“About 30 responses were received,” he said.

“We had overwhelming support for the provision of power, but not free of charge.”

Renmark Paringa Mayor Neil Martinson said he also surveyed patrons during a visit to the Lyrup Club and found that “majority of people were happy with a donation system”.

“There is one particular person who has been there (ss Ellen Park) for 17 days,” he said.

“But I think we’re going to have to trust them. I’m hoping people will do what they’re asked to do.”

Chief executive officer Tony Siviour said the free power supply had cost council about $400 from January 2014 to April 2014.

“The majority of the people (surveyed) can see the benefit for Lyrup,” he said.

“Once we implement it, we’ll probably monitor the park a little bit harder to start with because we want to get the message out there.”

Mr Siviour noted a similar policy recently introduced at a Moorook camping ground.

“The same thing at Moorook seems to be working quite well,” he said.

Lyrup resident Susan Taylor recently told the Pioneer she was “very opposed” to caravan and motor home owners staying at ss Ellen Park.

“I believe there are sufficient caravan parks and facilities in the Riverland and this is taking business that should be directed to them,” she said.

“These people are self-sufficient and may buy the odd bread or milk supplies from the local shop or an odd meal or two at the Lyrup Club.

“But I do not believe that this is sufficient to cover the costs to the ratepayers.”

The camping policy at ss Ellen Park joins similar implementations at camping grounds across the Riverland, including Martin Bend, Berri.

A number of Lyrup locals completed a survey issued by the Renmark Paringa Council to express their opinions on a new camping policy at ss Ellen Park.

A number of Lyrup locals completed a survey, issued by the Renmark Paringa Council, to express their opinions on a new camping policy at ss Ellen Park.

During a recent survey conducted by the Renmark Paringa Council, Lyrup residents offered their opinions on the 72-hour time limit and $5 per stay fee at ss Ellen Park.

  • “I now notice that ‘bongo vans’ are now staying there – usually backpackers. When backpackers can get something for nothing – they won’t leave!” – Noelene
  • “It (72 hours) gives the visitors enough time to gave a good look around.” – Anonymous
  • “Since the free power has been installed there has been a considerable increase in RVs coming into the area and some overstay the three-day limit.” – Ken and Rhyl.

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