The formerly free camping site at Lake Proserpine in Queensland will begin charging people to stay there from next Monday.
Whitsunday Regional Council says the new fees are to cover the costs of ‘24-hour surveillance’ at the popular fishing spot.
From July 19, adults will be charged $8 per night to stay.
According to the Courier-Mail, the fees are primarily to help the council pay for caretakers to manage and supervise the site, which councillors considered necessary after increasing reports of vandalism.
A caretaking team will now attend the campground from 8am to 5pm every day, with all campers advised on check-in of an after-hours contact number. They will be given a token to display on the outside of their vehicles to indicate they have paid for their stay.
The Courier-Mail reports that, if any issues arise at the campsite outside the office hours, the caretakers should be able to attend within three minutes. There will also be nightly security patrols.
The council’s Aviation and Tourism Operator, Craig Turner, said the caretakers and associated camping fees would result in an improved, ‘controlled’ experience for visitors through increased supervision, maintenance, and cleaning.
He said any profits generated through the introduction of fees would be ‘driven back into the facility to improve it’.