Camping charge set to be introduced at ‘free camp’

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Lake Proserpine
Camping charges could be introduced as Lake Proserpine. PIC: Whitsunday Times

Grey nomads look set to have to pay to stay at a formerly free campsite in northern Queensland.

Whitsunday Regional Council is to consider a proposal to introduce fees at Lake Proserpine Campground in the Whitsundays. The Whitsunday Times reports that councillors are to consider a business plan, prepared by Balfour Consulting, which recommends adopting a ‘pay per use’ operation model for the current facilities.

It says the current three-night limit at the campsite, also known as Peter Faust Dam, would be increased to seven nights under the new commercial model, according to council documents.

The fee would be $6 per person per night, or $24 per night for families with three to six children.

The Whitsunday Times reports that the business plan also recommends the council seek $2.5 million in grant funding to upgrade facilities at the campground over the next five years, including introducing cabin accommodation and powered sites, with fees of $120 per night and $30 per vehicle per night respectively.

“A fully developed camping ground at Lake Proserpine should be a priority of Whitsunday Regional Council,” the business plan states.

It estimates an economic boost to the region of $5.7 million a year through increased visitation, with the potential to create up to an extra 40 jobs.

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28 Responses to Camping charge set to be introduced at ‘free camp’

  1. if it has amenities it should not be free

  2. You did a good job at Collinsville so this will be better.

  3. Seems they want to develop something different to what I would ever stay at as a freedom campssite. Sounds like a caravan park or resort under a different name.

  4. Travellers don’t mind paying a few dollars for overnight stays providing the site is maintained and has facilities such as showers, toilets and some form of security.

  5. The idea of paying is fine. But leave it as it is with no cabins or power it takes the naturalism away from it.

    • I agree with this. the whole idea is the freedom to camp. people should be self-sufficient in these camping places.

      • Yes I agree that it takes away the natural aspects of the camp

  6. To increase number of nights would also require a dump point. Nearest one is Proserpine, which is a fair drive away. Also potable water.

  7. why fix what is not broken another form of revenue for the council, no body minds paying for a shower or a toilet, there are paid site for those who wish for a park which includes, those touted by the working group for the council.

  8. If they want payment GET MOBILE RECEPTION

    • Do they have mobile cover there? We live in the bush in NSW and have none. Try getting Telstra to show interest.

  9. Another local council greed grab. Goodbye Peter Faust dam and Proserpine.

  10. I have no problem paying the small o/n fee, BUT, here we go again, talk of putting cabins in and reducing the area……WTF. Peter pays Paul again.
    Lets just call it a caravan park.

    • Well said, just goes to prove the use of the English language can have many meanings but when you drill down, it still means the same.

  11. Soon only the wealthy will be able to go camping

  12. As usual council only sees the potential of more obvious dollars. Those current ” free campers” spend money in the area without the council spending a cent.
    Just leave it alone. A fishing mate and I drove from Brisbane to Proserpine, stayed in one of the towns caravan parks and are at one of the local pubs for a week. We drove to the dam each day ro fish. We put plenty of dollars into the local town businesses.
    This type of development does NOT put any money into those local businesses. The money just goes to the caravan park operator!

  13. It’s a bit of two edged sword, because if the council is going to charge people to stay then they also become liable for and injuries etc suffered by anyone ‘paying’ to use the area?

  14. Why can’t councils stop thinking of easy money and raising revenue from travellers? Leave the area alone – it’s peaceful and away from noisy crowds.

  15. This council has a history of not looking after the Grey Nomad community. A couple of years ago, one of the objectors to free camping in the area, was a councillor who managed a motel.

  16. I think that is reasonable and would help sort out the abuse of sites so it should be introduced more widely

  17. There is a similar one at Kingston SE in South Australia where the Council has an automatic system where you pay by Credit Card. Fee is $10.00 for 2 nights stay and toilets and water are available in the adjacent park. Site is on edge of town and produces a lot of revenue for the town with minimum cost to travellers .

  18. Sound reasonable.

  19. guess we will avoid that area now.

  20. When is “free camping” not free? When it’s a calculated retail opportunity. Not for me thanks.

  21. I am happy to pay minimal amount for the security of leaving my caravan and toodling off for the day after chatting to others who are staying.
    The councils don’t really rake in millions and we are supporting the towns anyway.

  22. ‘User pays’ is a fair principle and in my opinion $12 per couple is reasonable. I assume there are toilets and rubbish removal so the maintenance costs would be partially covered by the fee. This will happen more and more with Councils having to meet their ever increasing costs of managing and maintaining general infrastructure and community facilities.

  23. i suport tpwns that provide free camping
    just another town we bipass
    to see how much free camping brings to a town if they set a a reciept collection point to see how much nomads spend in a district as a a hole
    just a see nomads how much can we fleese of them
    $12 a day x7 another $42 from a pensin or are we ment to stay in our place at home

  24. If you have to be self contained and only a drop toilet for facilities then it should be free. Once a charge is incurred then services should be provided, the cost would reflect the services. If some councils offer $10 per night plus extra free days with power and water, then why not this council. I have a feeling greed is blurring their vision.

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