Free camping is set to continue at the Burdekin

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Burdekin free camping
Burdekin Shire Council says it will not impose fees on currently free camp sites in the shire. PIC: Townsville Bulletin

Burdekin Shire Council in north Queensland is resisting pressure to impose fees at its camping grounds.

The Townville Bulletin reports that the introduction of charges was recommended for ‘long-term sustainability of these campgrounds’ with fees collected through an online booking system.

However, in a statement, council chief executive Terry Brennan said imposing fees was not something that had been discussed or considered in the Burdekin.

“There are no plans to introduce a fee for free camping sites in the Burdekin,” he said.

A tourism strategy completed in 2018 indicated that freedom camping was a challenge for growing the Burdekin’s visitor economy. The strategy also stated that overnight domestic visitors represented 25% of the total visitation.

Councillor Ted Bawden said the idea of charging a fee of $10-$15 was not necessarily a bad idea but he had concerns around how it would be policed.

“There are campers all over the place around creek landings,” he said. “The problem is trying to work out if you put a small fee on it, is collecting the fee without incurring extra expenses.”

The Bulletin reports that the council also recently drew the line between camping areas and boat ramp parking at four popular facilities with infringement notices to be issued to those who do not comply. In the report to the council it was revealed council had received 16 complaints about camping at boat ramps since 2015.

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7 Responses to Free camping is set to continue at the Burdekin

  1. If you are going to charge a fee then you should provide amenities, some unkempt decaying toilet block just won’t suffice.

  2. Yes have camped at a boat ramp in the Shire. My problem is with those that camp at the shelters that have been built for everyone. When campers tie their tarps or set up under these awnings it makes it impossible for anyone else, like day users to have somewhere to have their lunch/picinic.

  3. Councils like to control everyone & everything

    In towns
    Now it’s Visitor’s that get controlled how are they going to make it pay
    This is why Australians go over seas

  4. If councils start charging, the small towns will suffer, as grey nomads will avoid these places and what you wlll have is a loss of revenue for the people who rely on it , the small businesses. It’s time council’s woke up and realized that. Stop thinking about the almighty dollar councils you need us more than we need you, We can always find a new free camp, but once were gone we wont be back.

  5. I agree Reggie, AND the councils AND caravan park owners need to understand that there is only so much money. If we spend the majority on the nights stay, then there is less to spend in town, pretty simple really, do you want support for one business, or are you happy to share it around? Again, pretty simple.

  6. Yes spot on Reggie .Stevo.

  7. It is sad that so many people expect (local)goverment to provide any(every)thing free. Some tax/rate payer will have to pay if the Freecampers don’t. Be glad that some local govt with helpfro
    Lions/Apex/Rotary and other groups provide excellent facilities in lots of places, and maybe some indifferent bare dirt patches elsewhere. If you want green grass clean Shiney toilets etc, they are about, most caravan parks have them. Poor bloke that keeps it that way has a wife and two kids, works 7 days a week 6am to 10 pm, likes his job but is not making a fortune. …… just sayin, Sarge

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