Grey nomads have been assured that the popular Lions Park campsite in the NSW mid north coast town of Bulahdelah will be re-opening.
With some other areas announcing that their free camps that closed ‘temporarily’ because of Covid would in fact never welcome campers again, concerns were growing that the gold coin donation camp at Bulahdelah might suffer the same fate.
However, a spokesperson for MidCoast Council said it was ‘fully intending on reopening the site for travellers in the future’.
Council’s Director of Liveable Communities, Paul De Szell, confirmed to the Grey Nomads that a process of formalising camping options was underway. He said the council was working through formalising the site and ensuring it is adequately serviced.
“The park is in an environmentally sensitive location on the Myall River, so it is important we take this opportunity to look at providing amenities for those who use the site,” Mr De Szell explained.
The Myall River feeds into the Myall Lake system which is a RAMSAR listed wetland with very significant ecology.
Also under consideration are restrictions to the length of time campers can call Lions Park home, with it being restricted to short stays of in the order of 48-72 hours.
The council says being able to comply with Covid rules for registration is also part of the picture, however the site also lacks a formal approval as a camping site.
“We are working through this with the local Lions Club to ensure that all appropriate approvals are in place so that the facility can reopen for the travelling community,” Mr De Szell said.
He said that that while there are no definite timeframes for reopening the site at this point, there is a strong commitment to do so.
“We are fully committed to reopening the site when the appropriate approval framework is in place and all environmental and health risks are managed,” he said.
Local councillor Len Roberts told the GNT that there was a huge appreciation within the community of the contribution that grey nomads and other campers have made to the vibrancy of the town.
“There is strong support for the Lions Park camping area and we hope we might be able to potentially build an amenities block there but that is all being worked through,” he said. “Grey nomads can rest assured that everyone here is working together to make this happen.”
As part of its overall review, the council is also looking to get camping back at the showgrounds, the bowls club and the golf club.