little towns doing it hard

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 20:20
ThreadID: 108867 Views:2925 Replies:14 FollowUps:16
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Well this just blows me away. We pulled into Morven east of Charleville to a great little locals campground a short walk from town situated, around the local footy oval.

Very clean toilets and showers, 12 powered sites with road base and at least 30 local roos that approve of the grass on the oval.

All of this for the donation of the exorbitant price of $5. Now get a load of this.

Went to the post office and had a cup of coffee, at which time the lady there said the council workers collect the donations every week and when tallied against the number of vans, camper trailers and mobile homes, only 25% of people pay.

These areas are doing it real tough due to drought, cattle prices and wild dogs. I just can't believe that this percentage of Australians have become this low. I wonder how long this camp ground will remain open.

There is a lot of feed being trucked in so property owners can keep their breeding stock and much of this is coming from the buy a bale program. These people will have no income for at least 2 to 3 years if all goes ok and the surrounding towns will suffer just as badly. Here is the donation site Buy a bale

I don't have any affiliation with the buy a bale program but I do donate as I have been through this heartbreak.

If people get a cheap site or camp please buy a little in the town even if it is only a couple of drinks.






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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 22:05

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 22:05
We recently returned from 6 weeks in the outback and observed how badly most of the towns were suffering. We went out of our way to buy something in each the towns we stopped in and to support the local tourist industries. This resulted in us having some very pleasant surprises.

The Wool Scour in Blackall QLD, for example, is a wonderful example in which the local community worked together to restore a 1908 steam driven factory. Their stated objective is to try to get tourists to spend a day in their town. They have a steam engine with a large flywheel driving many rotating shafts across the factory all connected via pulleys and drive belts to various machines. And it all works; I was like a kid in a candy shop.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 05:18

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 05:18
Rob,
I have to agree, they have done a magnificent job restoring the scour.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 06:00

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 06:00
See iy myself when driving around queensland. Hundreds of outfits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and the majority ignoring the caravan parks and free camping where ever. To each his own BUT ...the day will come when free camping will be almost impossible to find.
To all those miserable people who don't support the small towns and the small business,s....well you know what you can do.
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Follow Up By: Penchy - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:06

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:06
There is plenty of free camping up in the national parks and state forrests where these hundreds of thousnad dollar vans can't go. That's where you will find me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:09

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:09
I owned a small business for a while in Murrurundi when the drought was on in the early 2000's.

A lady walked into the shop and started picking up small pieces of furniture and other knick knacks and putting them on the counter.

She explained that she was passing through and was buying all her Christmas presents from small country towns to give them some support.

Perhaps we could do that this year?

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Follow Up By: snow - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 11:34

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 11:34
In all fairness BFish not all who free camp are avoiding park fees or supporting local market. Some travelers don't much care for caravan parks and the like but that doesn't necessarily mean they will not spend any coin in town.
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Reply By: Peter Schrader - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:54

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 07:54
St Lawrence is another example, once a busy little place, now very quiet. Large contingent of caravans in the showgrounds, hardly any of them have a drink at the pub.
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Reply By: bks - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:31

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:31
I have suspected for some time the claims by"freedom Campers" that they bring lots of money to small town that provide fee camping is a bit of a myth.

I'm sure many people like my self buy a beer at the pub or a pie from the bakery, but Many others are so tight they even pinch the toilet paper.

Or am I being too tough on them?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 09:16

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 09:16
No, I don't think you are being too tough. But there is another aspect. The price of fuel. It's killing small towns in Australia. The cost of getting goods to the towns, the cost of getting to the towns, the cost of having a suitable vehicle if you live in the city and want to go bush sometimes...
Like, I suspect, most of us, I love my long distance tanks that let me roll for 1000km without having to refuel, but these aren't helping the little towns either. I tend to refuel in the bigger towns along the way where the fuel is a bit cheaper and I am sure that I am not alone. But we love to stop at local bakeries and sample and compare the local pie/pasty. Now there is a subject for a thread. Which country town has the best pie/pasty?

Sadly, it's going to get worse, fuel prices will continue climbing.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 10:19

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 10:19
Not strictly on topic but the Denmark Bakery in WA has the best pies and pasties in Australia, they have lots of "Blue Ribbons" and "Gold Medal" certificates to prove it.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Willy W - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:19

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:19
I always make an extra effort of buying fuel and pies and other stuff at the smaller places. If I can afford to pack my car and van for a holiday then I can afford to pay a few cents extra for fuel or food or local produce. Better than lining Coles and Woollies directors pockets .Those few dollars add almost nothing to your total travel costs over hundreds of kilometers but may mean the survival of a small town store or farmer.
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Follow Up By: bks - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:27

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:27
To bring back to topic a bit. The Bakery at Collah NSW has great pies I think they paid off the morgage with all the pies and pasties I ate.
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Follow Up By: Member - Munji - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 16:37

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 16:37
Sorry Disco
Miami Bakehouse in Mandurah is the best, by far. More awards than you can poke a fork at.
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Follow Up By: tommo05 - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 21:59

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 21:59
Denmark Bakery... lots of awards.. but their sausage rolls are shyte. The sausage roll is the benchmark by which I rate my bakeries.

Oasis in Broome is hard to top

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 13:33

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 13:33
My take on the main point made in this post was this bit: "Went to the post office and had a cup of coffee, at which time the lady there said the council workers collect the donations every week and when tallied against the number of vans, camper trailers and mobile homes, only 25% of people pay."

If that is even half correct then that is a disgrace. Sure, buy a beer, a pie or whatever but if we use facilities surely its reasonable to pay for them - especially if said facilities are clean and well maintained.

Having said that, we have encountered situations where even with the best will in the world we have not been able to pay such donations because the arrangements for doing so just don't work. In those cases a bit more thought/research might make a significant difference. Some examples: go to a particular place (residence or shop) to pay, you find said place but no-one is there to take your payment. Or the price is such (eg $6.60 each) that you have to use at least some coins to pay and the slot into the receptacle for the fees wont accept coin. Sorting out those little obstacles and others like them just could be worthwhile.

But mostly its fairly straightforward to pay, so why are so many not doing so?

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 18:58

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 18:58
J&V,
I can only relate what was told to me and if you look on wikicamps a similar plea was made for people to pay.

I said why don't you do a registration thing where people display it on their windscreen, answer was it is a donation because we can't charge a fee due to us not competing with caravan parks. Nearest van park is 90k away, go figure that.

On the hard to pay side, it is only about a 250m walk to get change from the pub, store or post office so there is no reason not to pay.

I see a few blamed $100,000 vans for not paying but this is not the case, there was a mix of new (i1/2 the $100000 mark, converted buses, camper trailers and new to old mobile homes.

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 07:57

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 07:57
Not suggesting an excuse for not paying Slow One.

We've encountered coin-in-the-slot boxes with the slot too small to accept the larger coins. Not uncommon at little roadside fruit and veg stalls.

Anything like that that makes it less easy to pay what's owed reduces the likelihood of payment.

Cheers

John
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 08:40

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 08:40
Easy to do the 'camp fees paid' display for the windscreen.

Several 4WD properties here in SA use coloured stick on dots (fluro colours, yellow, red, etc) which are placed in say top left corner of windscreen.

Very obvious then who has / who has not paid, and easy / cheap to implement (no printing etc).
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Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 14:24

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 14:24
Hello All. When I was at Duaringa and Cracow in Qld two years ago I saw people with very late big outfits not putting donations in for the camping! Late last year at Murphy's Haystacks in SA I saw people walk past the donation tin at the gate without even putting 50 cents in. When these places are closed down they will be the first to complain! It is disgusting that some people can be so tight! At the Gas Plant near 40 Mile Beach for every donation for water the Gas Plant double the money for the Flying Doctors, a great idea. At Karratha Info centre you have to pay for water. $1 for 50 litres.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 16:05

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 16:05
Agree - camped out the back of quite a few pubs - the usual fee for using the showers is a donation to the RFDS. More than happy to double what is asked and quite often have meal and a few beers in the establishment.

Seen a number of people wander in and ask the question to which they respond "can't be bothered" ..... how cheap & nasty can you get???

Having said that the majority are more than happy to donate.
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 08:45

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 08:45
Farina is a another great private property camp site in SA, between Lyndhurst and Marree.
You can access the old township and the great ruins / stories there for free (worth a couple of hours), but hard to go past the great camping with basic toilets etc just over the creek.

Only $5 a night per VEHICLE, wonder if many are too tight to pay for camping on the bowling green like grass there ?
I must ask the owners next time I'm there, but you hardly see them, they just drive by sometimes in their travels.
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Reply By: LIFE MEMBER-snailbait - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 16:44

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 16:44
unfprtant this is happing all to frequent across Australia the majortay of grey nomads wont pay the donation so some of the freedom camps have volanters to catch them and i hope they get caught i have no concern for people hope refuse to donate they could donate a $ to keep these camps open
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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 18:50

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 18:50
Is that a donation or a fee?

wizzer
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Follow Up By: LIFE MEMBER-snailbait - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 18:41

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 18:41
wizzer73
Why should that matter are you one of those who do not give a dam and refuse to donate or pay a fee and then see the camp close down
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Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 20:39

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 20:39
I am sorry to say it is not only grey nomads but also young Australians as well as backpackers not paying or donating. The way some campsites are left I would hate to see their homes.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:07

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:07
See it constantly , pull in to the unmanned council van park just before or on 4pm when the towns admin office 300 mtrs up the road is shutting for the day , pack up and leave before office opens at 9 am , honesty box ?? Never so much as $1 ever been put in it , ,,
Wander to the pub , buy A beer [ never 2 or 3 ] peruse the menu , decide all to dear [$13 for steak / chips+ salad ] ,, maybe go to the one and only shop , whinge about the price of the 2lt bottle of millk [ ohh how can it cost $4.20 when we only pay $2 at Woollies at home] ,, pull up at the fuel bowsers - see the price and move the vehicle away and then proceed to fill the vehicles tank from jerry cans [ I kid you not ] , have wife look around for water tap and hose so she can fill the water tanks while hubby is doing the jerry cans ,,, and people wonder WHY we call them terrorists instead of tourists …...
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Reply By: ian.g - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:14

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:14
Perhaps the price of "Free Camps Book" should be doubled and the amount collected from this passed on to the councils who have these camps in their shires for the cost of upkeep. Just a thought
Regards
Ian
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Reply By: Crammo - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 19:54

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 19:54
We stayed at Morven a couple of months ago, lovely little spot. Saw people come and go in the camp ground and wondered how many actually got around to putting their donation in the collection box, didn't see too many even go near it - come in late - leave early, that was their plan.

Power and water for nothing, probably loo paper as well, disgusting behaviour. What to do about it - ??
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Reply By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 13:49

Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 13:49
Just sent them a help Slow one,had not heard of the site.Maybe i will get to call in to the local camp one day.

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Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 08:53

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 08:53
I have a policy of trying to spread my travel spend around the various towns I go thru ie fuel at one stop, lunch at another town a few beers in the pub at night somewhere else .slows the travel time down a bit as well.
I have actually found this to be easy to achieve as its getting hard to find a town where diesel costs more than Canberra's day to day rip off priceing so the long range tanks dont necessarily get filled every time these days.
cheers
howard
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