New legislation on camping in WA - have you had your say?

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 21, 2015 at 22:18
ThreadID: 130948 Views:2102 Replies:6 FollowUps:15
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See Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Legislation for background information and feedback form. This consultation period closes at the end of the month, so get in fast and have your say. Even a simple letter covering points you want to make will be better than nothing. Reading the preamble and addressing the questions can be time consuming.

Previous thread refers but got little comment, unlike on other media, particularly Facebook. .

This legislation does not consider that times are changing and that modern caravans and motorhomes are set up for self sufficiency and do not need caravan park services every night. The Government needs to be told and NOW, before it is too late.

In Queensland following public consultation, they have listened and made it possible for private landholders to set up campgrounds without the need to provide showers and toilets, hence at lower cost and less financial risk to the landholder, as well as meeting what so many travellers say is what they want.

The WA caravan park lobby is strong, and wants legislation to direct business their way, whether we want the product or not.

Go to it, what ever state you call home. HAVE YOUR SAY.



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Reply By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 09:42

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 09:42
Hi Motherhen,
I would have to disagree with the comment in your post, "This legislation does not consider that times are changing and that modern caravans and motor homes are set up for self sufficiency and do not need caravan park services every night."
Could you give me an idea why you think that. From what I've read of the consultation paper, making it easier to set up nature based and low facility campsites is exactly what the some of the Proposed changes are aimed at.
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Reply By: Member - tazbaz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 11:46

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 11:46
On my reading I have to agree with Cruznos, even though I do think that WA is a bit of a nazi state
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 14:49

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 14:49
Hi Cruznoz. Introducing Nature Based Parks was a step in the right direction and did come out of earlier consultations, they still have fairly onerous requirements. They are also for locations with nature based values, which would exclude a plain campground for someone just wanting to stop for a night or two. While setting up any private campground is not cheap, there is little scope in these proposals for a simple non serviced camping area to meet the modern traveller requirements at a low price.



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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 15:24

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 15:24
Mother hen,

I have little experience with non serviced campsites around towns. We tend to use NP camp sites and the odd outback unofficial camp as well as the occasional Caravan park when we start to feel too feral, so I can only go on what I have observed. In Albany where I live there is a 24 hr RV stop in town with a dump point and potable water at one end of it. In a town 50 km to the north there is something similar, 100 km to the east at a road house is another. These three sites are free to use. There is also a campsite on private land about 15 km from town that self contained travelers can use for a minimum cost. Also a 24 hr stop is permissible in all WA Main Roads rest areas for fatigue purposes. I would have though this catered well for the Self contained RV community. I don't know if its exceptional to have this many facility's, both council and public in the one area, but if Albany can do it then any town can. It seems to me that its not the legislation that's stopping communities from supplying these facility's. .
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:10

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:10
I read and hear many many times caravanners and motorhomers saying "We have our own bathrooms and power. We don't won't to go to a caravan park and pay for full services that we won't be using. We want somewhere safe to park." My point is not about the small 24 hour stops that CMCA negotiate with town councils to get the RVFT status, and good on Albany, but the changing trends and needs of the caravanning industry.

In Queensland they listened, and are now allowing some private campgrounds to be opened up to meet this growing market without them having to provide at great expensive full caravan park amenities.

If say half the travellers of the future have invested in these rigs built for independence, then there should be a proportionate number of camping areas meeting that market.

A few caravan parks (across the country) have heard this call, and provide some unserviced sites at $10 - $12. Considering that to meet their licence that have to have full services for the number of campers, regardless of whether they want to use the amenities or not, the park will most likely have standing costs per site at higher than the $10 -$12 fee they are charging. The legislation does not even know about travellers with their own on board bathrooms and solar power - they are that far behind the times.

Legislation in WA needs to keep up with the times, and they have the chance now with a complete revamp of the Act.

Western Australia has the chance to be Way Ahead, but this proposed legislation leaves it back with the nickname Wait Awhile.

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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:31

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:31
I think I see where you are coming from Motherhen. Correct me if I'm wrong, you are concerned with the difficultly of setting up private campgrounds to cater for those that are self contained. Fair enough, but I repeat what I said in my last post, There is a private campground within the Albany shire that caters for self contained campers. They have no showers or toilets and only self contained campers can stay there. If this camp ground is in place then the legislation must be in place to allow it to happen. In the introduction to the Consultation Paper is this paragraph -
"The CPCG Act and associated regulations are very prescriptive and have not had the flexibility needed to cope with changes to the market and consumer expectations. For example, many travelers now have fully self-contained recreational vehicles (RVs) that do not need the same facilities that are prescribed in the CPCG Act. This uniformity has stifled the ability of operators of facilities to respond to different market segments. Therefore, new legislation is necessary to address current deficiencies."
It seems to me that the proposed changes are been made to provide for self contained camping.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:50

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 17:50
That is exactly the type of park I am looking for information on Cruznoz. Can you please give me details of this private park, either on this thread or privately if you prefer.

I have not found the paragraph you have quoted from the consultation paper, but it does go to show again that they have listened to us in previous consultations.

This is the Consultation Paper I am responding to via their questionnaire.
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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:11

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:11
Motherhen, the quoted paragraph comes from the Consultation Paper Proposal for Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Legislation 30 May 2014. I think this is the first consultation paper. The camp ground is called "Roys Place" about 15 km west of Albany. Its listed in Wikicamps. I dont know who runs it and only have heard about it from Wikicamps and a couple of people who have stayed there.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:26

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:26
Thanks Cruznoz. Yes, that was the first of these two consultations.

I do not know "Roys Place" but from Grey Nomad forum and a couple of blogs, I can see it is at Elleker. No internet presence, contact details or any other information about the camp. One blog says $10 includes power and only $5 without.
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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:40

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:40
That's the one. The current prices on Wikicamps are $7.50 un powered and $12 for power. There is also water available but you must have your own toilet.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:44

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 18:44
Pretty cheap considering the costs he would have been up for, and for covering ongoing costs. One blog said room for little more than half a dozen.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:32

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:32
Thank you for drawing this to our attention Motherhen.

I find it quite concerning that there is no provision for what Cruznoz refers to as “the odd outback unofficial camp”. When we are away from “civilised” areas we tend to use such facilities almost exclusively, simply driving well away from the track and overnighting in the natural world.

There doesn’t appear to be any mention of this practice in the discussion paper, but there is obvious intent to clamp down hard on the use of rest areas, which are a small step away from the “unofficial camps”.

There may be need in more populous areas for some kind of restrictions or structure, but there are vast areas of WA where one can be free to experience our country without unfavourable interaction with others, or indeed with the country itself. Surely no restrictions are needed in more than half the area of the state!

Could you please comment on just how free we are to just drive off the road/track to overnight? (I’m thinking of the CSR, the east-west links across the country and the like.) Yes I could battle through lots of weighty papers, but I’d really prefer the advice of an experienced WA traveller!

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:50

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:50
Hi John and Val

They will never stop us pulling over to rest, and that is legal within the road reserve (usually 30 metres from road centre) and numerous other public access areas such as along rivers and streams. Nor would they be able to fund inspectors going out to inspect the traditional overnight stops on the Great Central to say "Hey, you should have come back to (insert nearest town with an office for the appropriate authority to issue a camping permit) and got a permit".

To go into town to get a permit to stop for the night half way to the next town is not practical to say the least.

Fortunately they are leaving the Main Roads 24 hour rest areas under the control of Main Roads as fatigue management areas.

We have a huge state, and my bet is that any No Camping regulations will only be policed within xx kilometres of a caravan park.

What they are proposing in their definitions is -

"‘Camp’ (verb) will mean to stay or lodge in a tent, or other accommodation
vehicle."

" ‘Accommodation vehicle’ is the term used to reflect all types of vehicles
used or capable of being used for habitation. This includes caravans and campervans."

In adding other accommodation vehicle to the definition of to camp will effectively exclude stopping in any vehicle you can sleep in.

Whether the changing legislation makes any difference to what happens out along the roads, damage is being done by negative publicity about WA, and many businesses who rely on or have their income boosted by tourist will suffer, and a time when the mining industry is starting to wane, at a tie when we need tourism even more.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:51

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:51
Oh for an edit button.

"At a time when we need tourism - - "
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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 19:18

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 19:18
I believe there is a lot off misinformation going around about these changes and a lot of it is being spread by the media, or people who have misread the proposed changes. This is my take on the proposed changes. Please correct me if you think I'm wrong.
Under the current Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995, Regulation 11 states that, "a person may camp on land other than a caravan park or camping ground for up to three nights, if the person has obtained the prior permission of the owner of the land."
This regulation has been in place for at least 20 years and as Far as I know is similar across Australia. Under the proposed new legislation this regulation is unchanged.
Regulation 11 continues, "For periods longer than three nights, permission must be obtained from the local government. Local governments may permit camping on land that is not a licensed caravan park or camping ground for up to three months in any period of 12 months, while the Minister for Local Government and Regional Development can give approval for a period greater than three months within a one-year period."
Again, this part of the regulation is at least 20 years old and is, I believe, similar around Australia. Under the proposed new regulations this doesn't change, although the approval process seems to have become a bit more bureaucratic and how includes an event permit if there is more then one "accommodation vehicle".
However this doesn't apply to someone wanting to open their gates as a farm stay. A farm stay is a licensed camp ground and has to follow the current regulations in the act, what ever they may be.
The camping and event permits are really only aimed at situations like people staying on friends or family's property while visiting or an owner living in a caravan while building a house.
However in reality as it stands how, and has done for many years, if you have friends park on your front drive or on your farm, for more then 3 days, say a week or 10 days, unless they are dumping their porta loo waste onto the verge or engaging in some other antisocial behavior then the local ranger/ council is unlikely to bother them. This isn't likely to change. You are right Motherhen, there is a lot of negative publicity going around about these changes, especially on social media, but from what I can see these changes aren't very different then the regulations in the other states.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 20:47

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 20:47
Spot on Cruznoz and I have been shouting a lot of that on social media as well as "Have you READ the papers?". They say they are going to boycott WA over this, yet as you say, the three day limit is the same Australia wide and has been for as long as I can remember. They seem to think it is going to stop farmers being able to open their gates to all and sundry for a cash camping fees, and that has never been permitted in any state as long as I can remember and probably longer. They seem to think it is going to close down farm and station stays - no they are already approved and licenced.

It does want to formalise everything, permits to stop anywhere. What effect that will have on events I don't know - there is not enough detail in the papers and I am not involved with community events.

The main thing is from a series of WA enquiries, they have taken on board some of our points - even those outside of their scope, so it is important for everyone to have their say now in this final stage.

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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 21:14

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 21:14
I agree Motherhen. What I posted earlier I have posted before in some other forums. I have also read your posts in other forums and agreed with most of what you said. You seem to be the only voice of reason among a hen house of chicken Littles. I think that the new regulations will come in and this will all become a distant memory. People will come to realize that it will have little effect on their travelling.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 22:11

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 at 22:11
Thanks Cruznoz, you comments are much appreciated :).

Yes, those who miss out on seeing WA because of a perceived unfriendly state will miss out on so much. We saw the same threats when Tasmania jumped on the competitive neutrality bandwagon. Most of the free camps remained, and those with fees added were not onerous. Tasmania was just as beautiful and camping still cheap for those set up for independence.

Even the coastal shires with strict no camping outside of authorised camping areas rules will only use these rules to clean up a problem. Look at the Moore River rest area. Not a 24 hour rest area, but they have about four bays and know that caravanners stay for a day or two (we didn't - mainly because the location was to noisy by the road and bridge). There is a sign specifying no campfires. Someone stopping to rest for the night when travelling through in a safe location off the road, leaving no mess, will be unlikely to be challenged. Set up camp with a group of campervans for a week or two and throw rubbish around, the law is there to move you on.

Wheatbelt towns will still offer good low cost caravan parks and free short term sites in some towns.

I do have reservations about the potential to "formalised" all camping, and they have defined camping as per my reply to John and Val. It will be threatening to those of us who like to do the right thing. In my submission I am asking for them to simplify not complicate. We have a vast and open state, and we should all have the choice to take our families out on the camping experience, as my grandparents and their parent did. Modern caravans and motorhomes make it easier to do so in comfort and cleanliness. I am asking for this to continue also.


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Reply By: Cruznoz - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 22:27

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 22:27
I've just sent feedback to about the new regulations regarding Camping at a place other than an approved facility . This is what i wrote -

I think this regulation should be freed up a bit. Three days camping with the approval from the owner of the land should be extended to 7 days, before approval from the council is required. Also, an event approval shouldn't be required for only two or more accommodation vehicles. I think this should be extended to three or four accommodation vehicles. My thinking behind this is if two couples travelling together decide to visit a third couple at their home and pull up on their driveway for, say five days, they would have to seek approval from the council to stay that length of time, as well as apply for an event approval. This sounds like a lot of time used up by someone at the council office. If the time limit was extended out 7 days and 3-4 accommodation vehicles then there would be no wasted time with paper work. Many Rvs these days are totally self contained and can sit for this period of time without a problem and for those that aren't self contained, they would be using the facility's in the house anyway.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 23:04

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 23:04
Send your application by Aus Post's new standard paper mail. Minimum 2 days transit to the LGA office. Minimum two days to process, and that's being optimistic. Minimum two days return mail. Six days. By then you'll be on your way, regardless of approval or otherwise.

QED

I have little time for bureaucratic foolishness. Play them at their own game.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 22:32

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 22:32
Lovely Cruznoz :)

I have given the hypothetical example of family coming to stay for a week at Christmas, kids in tents on the back lawn and two caravans in the driveway. But it probably underpinned by national legislation.

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