Tuncurry free camping trial a surprise to mayor

The trial started after someone from the Great Lakes Council took down the no camping signs.

The trial started after someone from the Great Lakes Council took down the no camping signs.

THE recently wrapped-up free camping trial at the Tuncurry Rockpool car park was just as big a surprise to Great Lakes councillors as it was to local residents.

 The trial started when ‘someone’ from council decided to take down the no camping signs.

Mayor Jan McWilliams said she first heard about it when she was on holidays after she started getting emails from residents.

Cr McWilliams said none of the other councillors knew about the signs getting taken down.

General manager Glen Hanford was also on holidays at the time but acting GM Steve Embry said council wanted to appear welcoming to tourists (see related story below).

“It’s not that we are not RV friendly,” Cr McWilliams said.

“And we have been talking about having a free place to camp somewhere. But the trial period was the wrong time of year.

“If we were going to have a trial it should not have been in the busiest time of year.”

READ MORE: Free camping at Tuncurry car park, should it be allowed?...click here

Cr McWilliams said council will now meet with the caravan industry, residents and other stake holders on January 28 to discuss how the trial went and to discuss other possible locations for free camping.

The trial started after someone from the Great Lakes Council took down the no camping signs.

The trial started after someone from the Great Lakes Council took down the no camping signs.

When Cr McWilliams spoke to the Great Lakes Advocate yesterday, she said she was still unsure who originally took the signs down.

She said whether that person will face repercussions is another matter for council to discuss.    

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