“It’s time to bite the bullet and make a decision on a site for a Freedom Camping area in Werris Creek, so the town can share in the benefits other Shire communities are experiencing through the burgeoning RV industry, to attract more visitors to the Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum and the opportunities it can present for local business,” Councillor Paul Moules told the February Ordinary meeting of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC).
Following extensive discussion Council unanimously voted to establish the Werris Creek Freedom Camping Precinct on land adjacent to the LPSC Works Depot on Deeks Road.
LPSC Councillor Paul Moules at the site where the Werris Creek Freedom Camping Area will be developed
“For more than two years there have been attempts to gain concensus on a suitable site for a Freedom Camping Ground. More recently a site on Single Street was suggested however this is on Australian Rail Track Corporation land and the need to install sound barriers and security fencing makes the location unviable. Furthermore, the RV industry itself did not favour this site because of its limited scale with a main road on one side and rail marshalling yard on the other,” Councillor Moules said.
“Council officers have had a number of meetings with RV organisations and in particular the Australian Caravan Club (ACC) and they have all indicated a preference for a site away from the constraints of the railway line. Keeping their views in mind the Deeks Road location is far more suitable for their member’s requirements. I think it’s vital we respect the wishes and views of these organisations if we are going to succesfully cater to their needs,” he said.
“There are many rail enthusiasts amongst the grey nomads who will welcome the opportunity to conveniently camp and visit the Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum and many more amongst their numbers who just like to visit attractions in the towns they visit,” he continued.
“These visitors will also spend money with local businesses. ACC research shows their members spend $100-120 a day. They estimate 180,000 campers on the road at any given time. There are 30 million domestic visitor nights spent in caravan parks and freedom camping grounds each year and 90% of all visitor nights in the sector are spent in regional Australia. These numbers are growing and I want to see Werris Creek share in the benefits these travellers bring to a town,” Councillor Moules concluded.