A plan to create a short-term RV camping area has left yet another regional community deeply divided.
In a debate that is being played out in town after town across the country, some residents of Maryvale in Queensland can see the economic benefits of attracting grey nomads and other travellers, while others worry it will destroy the area’s ‘quaint’ character.
The Maryvale Progress Association (MPA) has submitted a petition to the Southern Downs Regional Council expressing strong support for a 72-hour RV stopover park and dump point at the Railway Reserve.
The Toowoomba Chronicle reports that MPA secretary, Simon Ellery, believes the bold new project would encourage visitors to Maryvale and allow them to enjoy the Railway Reserve.
While the petition was signed by more than 100 residents and visitors. However, other residents of the township – which has population of around 300 – say the project would detract from the ‘quaint’ township, and they propose the funds be used on essential infrastructure in the community.
According to the Chronicle, Mayor Vic Pennisi said the council recognised there were two sides to the story and would review the proposal to ensure their decision suited the majority of residents.
“Council is keen to work with individual communities to help them their shape and enrich their urban areas and Maryvale is home to a proud and passionate community who treasure where they live,” he said. “Council worked closely in 2018 with the Maryvale community on its Urban Design Framework, and reviewing the RV proposal is another layer of the project.
Councillor Stephen Tancred supports the RV area idea, and said the number of people who signed the petition signalled enough ‘merit and support’ to investigate the proposal further.
“This petition has well over 100, maybe 200 signatures and I note that most of them live at Maryvale or Goomburra or somewhere fairly close,” he said. “As petitions go, it seems to carry a fair bit of weight and I can commend the residents of Maryvale for communicating with us in this way.”