Free campers ignore signs at The Spit on Gold Coast

Published: October 31, 2016
Grey nomads at The Spit

The battle to stop free camping at the Gold Coast’s ‘Spit’ has cranked up another gear with travellers reportedly ignoring warning signs and gates that were built specifically to stop them parking up there.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that up to 50 tourists have been illegally camping in the area, with residents saying illegal campers had moved north from the gated section of The Spit known as The Finger.

Back in May, the Waterways Authority began a $500,000 makeover of the area, upgrading road surfaces, erecting bollards and allocating more than 150 car parks. The move followed concerns that the popular area could become a ‘giant toilet’ when The Spit became crowded with travellers enjoying the million-dollar views of the Broadwater.

The Bulletin reports that it was believed a private security company has now been employed and gates would be closed to traffic on The Finger at night.

Water Authority chief executive, Hal Morris, confirmed the gates were being closed at night.

“What we are going to do is gradually work with the community there and get people to understand it’s a great place and needs to be looked after,” he told the Bulletin. “If camping is going on, that’s illegal, it’s not on.”

The council has previously handed out $150 fines to drivers found sleeping in their cars, but did not fine illegal campers this weekend because it says the Waterways Authority is responsible for the area.

The Waterways Authority says it thinks many visitors may not have yet been informed of the clampdown on staying overnight.

·         Comment below.

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Ray mole
5 years ago

They should turn this area into a caravan park you have all this space and no one using it, a lot of people turn up early in the morning and leave at night they stay there all day this is not illegal campling.m

ge wilson
5 years ago
Reply to  Ray mole

Totally agree, control the amount of vans & tents, put in ambulation block and a license for a mobile food van. Think outside the box stop the one track mind like ban it ect. Turn the place into some thing all can enjoy and pays it’s own way.

Colin Carpenter
5 years ago
Reply to  ge wilson

It’s not the overnight campers who leave the bulk of the mess behind…its the pinheads and hoons who go there to party at night and just dump their McDonalds, Zarrafas containers & empty beer cans. Unfortunately, there will ALWAYS be lowlifes and grubs. Are the “illegal campers” really the issueor is Tom Tate’s retirement fund being somehow diminished because the area ISN’T being developed? Just a thought.

ge wilson
5 years ago
Reply to  Ray mole

Totally agree, control the amount of vans & tents, put in ambulation block and a license for a mobile food van. Think outside the box stop the one track mind like ban it ect. Turn the place into some thing all can enjoy and pays it’s own way. Go for it.

Don
5 years ago
Reply to  Ray mole

I am new to caravaning having found myself on street after a 40 year marriage ! Down on my luck but very good at all trades from electronics to painting! So I just bought a very cheap caravan i am restoring! Parks charge rents pensoniors cant afford!! So if i need a park at no charge somewhere in the country i was born why cant i go to the spit and simiiar places! If council put in a humble toilet and shower block and charged a third of what parks want one would greatefully pay it and they may even make a profit?!?!

Bill garner
5 years ago

Sheriff should put wheel locks on them, they would have to pay to get them removed, council has the power but are to lazy to do anything about it except whinge.

Alan MacDonald
5 years ago

If the sign says no camping then abide by that and don’t camp, I have seen many setup camp caravan awnings out, need fining,or wheel locking.

Clarke Mc Dowell
5 years ago

I think what the authorities are doing is right as it is a beautiful area being destroyed by backpackers and squatters, they have been using the place as a toilet with faeces and toilet paper evident especially in the dunes.

Maddy Lane
5 years ago

They show their true colours, do not want anyone who isn’t wealthy to enjoy the million dollar views, dogs in the manger, while we cannot condone lawbreaking my support is for the free campers. Tons of room for a proper self contained area I bet

Dazren
5 years ago
Reply to  Maddy Lane

Trouble is !! The Law says no camping ! so do not camp there, You have the right to complain that the law is unfair, however you do not have the right to break that law, ! and PS from the looks of the vehicles in the photo, I doubt any would be Self contained !

Dianne Neesom
5 years ago
Reply to  Maddy Lane

Well said Maddy

Jean Sievers
5 years ago

Ordinary people need to be able to go on holidays and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to stay in a caravan park. Free Camping should be part of the deal.

Jean Sievers
5 years ago

Ordinary people need to be able to go on holidays and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to stay in a caravan park. Free Camping should be part of the deal. Disgusted at the meaness of the world today.

Nomad 1946
5 years ago
Reply to  Jean Sievers

Jean, you and I both know Nothing is Free. Someone, somewhere has to pay. In this case the Ratepayers.
I see the problem with this is that these few law breakers have, are, and will make it even more difficult for the remainder of us to lobby for so called” Free” camping areas.

Leo
5 years ago

This area is there to be enjoyed by all not just for a few campers, on any day you can see from $250k motorhomes down to tents, the place is turning into a garbage dump because of a few campers who are determined to turn it into a pig sty. A small minority of long term permanent campers ruin it for those that respect the area. In the end the authorities will close it off for all. I have spoken to some of the permanent guys up there and they are blaming there own bad luck or mismanagement of their funds on the government to me they are just loosers who should be moved on and stop blaming everything on other people and take a long hard look in the mirror.

Russell
5 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Well said Leo, I agree totally ,I’m sick of the woe is me argument , get off your backside and make your own future like most of us have.

Rob Jones
5 years ago

Why support the free campers if they crap in the dunes and leave paper every where. I have a caravan with a toilet and shower and don’t leave a trace and yet you stick up for the wiz bang brigade mostly from overseas who crap on Oz and then leave. Hit them with bigger fines and if they are from overseas take them to the international airport and tell them to leave

Dianne Neesom
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Jones

Totally agree with you there Rob.

Clarke Mc Dowell
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Jones

No point in fining them by the time Council gets around to looking for them when they do pay up they have left the country.

Laurens
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Jones

What an angry person you are… Have you got anything good to say about people, especially young people travelling this beautiful country…
Why not look at it from another angle.. Get the council to supply toilets and showers and do as they do in many small communities, charge $15 for a nights stay…. Everyone wins….

Terry Renford
5 years ago

From the photo and the above comments the vast majority staying here are vans, and not caravans. The area doesn’t seem to be taken care of by the users so seems you reap what you sow. Can only imagine comments if this problem were caused by grey nomading caravaners.

Clarke Mc Dowell
5 years ago
Reply to  Terry Renford

Some of them are Grey Nomads

Sharyn Connelle
5 years ago

Gold Coast Waterways Authority encourages visitors and residents to enjoy the popular Doug Jennings Park when visiting The Spit on the Gold Coast. However, we remind all visitors that it is illegal to camp overnight in the park.

We urge all visitors to do the right thing when you’re visiting.

Russ
5 years ago

That’s fair Sharyn. Can you tell us when they put in day parking will their be provision to park cars with caravans? One of the big issues with visiting the coast is just being able to park a rig.

mick j
5 years ago

Gold Coast City Council ( also known as the Gold Coast City Circus)won’t introduce free or low budget camping because they own 90% of all the caravan parks on the coast .Mayor Tom Tate when he first got in said he would introduce low cost camping because he didn’t like the hundreds of caravans and motorhomes driving up the M1 and not stopping , that was 5 years ago nothing been done.As for Doug Jennings Park what a waste of space.

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