To the relief of many grey nomads and other keen campers, South Australia’s much-loved Rapid Bay Campground is to remain open.
Back in May, Yankalilla Council received a legal letter from a nearby resident asking the council to ‘immediately refrain from causing suffering or permitting the use of the subject land for a public access camping and caravan ground’.
The council then asked for a report on the pros and cons of keeping the site open, before deciding on its long-term future.
Questions over the campsite’s future prompted Cape Jervis Progress Association chairwoman Lauren Barrington to launch a petition calling for the campsite to remain open.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the petition has since amassed almost 9000 signatures.
Yankalilla Council has now voted to keep the campsite open and strike an agreement for a campsite manager to look after the property for the next two to three years.
Yankalilla Council chief executive Nigel Morris said the council had not heard back from the ratepayer after responding to their legal letter in May.
“If it’s not a campground I believe that it would just be used for illegal camping and it would probably cause more issues than it was before,” Mr Morris said. “That’s what happened when it was closed during Covid – people were leaving their rubbish there.”
Apart from potentially encouraging illegal camping, the Adelaide Advertiser reports that Mr Morris warned that closing the site would leave people with nowhere to stay if they travelled to the area.
While the closure of the campsite might save the council money, a report to the council said it would negatively affect local businesses.
Lauren Barrington from the Cape Jervis Progress Association said the decision to keep the campsite open was great news.
“The local businesses will be stoked – they were very concerned about losing income,” she said. “People shop at the local Foodland and might stop at the bakery and spend money in local eateries – the concern was across the board.”