Lack of rest areas an issue
A BUSINESS owner believes a lack of rest areas and budget camping facilities in the Bundaberg region is contributing to an explosion in the use of private property and undesignated public land.
Bundaberg Regional Council's popular Norval Park camping facility was full to bursting yesterday with holidaymakers and their children enjoying a swim and a fish on the nearby beach.
The land is supposed to be run on a permit basis for tents and camper trailers only, but the NewsMail saw at least 50 people in both the council-run area and an unofficial neighbouring spot in the dunes of Norval Park Beach in caravans and RVs as well.
Yandaran Store owner Steve Campbell, who often sells supplies to Norval Park visitors, said the privately owned land would always be popular with campers because of its natural beauty and proximity to the beach.
But he questioned why the council-endorsed area nearby had not been approved for those in self-sufficient motor homes and caravans.
"Legally, the caravanners can't go there, so it's no wonder you find them along the beach," he said.
Mr Campbell said the popularity of the location with caravan and motorhome owners highlighted the need for more rest areas and budget camping facilities in the Bundaberg region.
"If the council creates more areas that people can use, it will stop people doing the wrong thing," he said.
The council's website says inspectors will visit the site regularly to check and enforce permits, but campers told the NewsMail yesterday they had seen no one.
Yandaran publican Terry McKinnon enjoyed some time off during the Christmas break with friends and family at Norval Park.
Mr McKinnon said there had been no shortage of visitors to the unofficial camping grounds during his stay.
"Sometimes there are too many people and it actually gets a bit crowded out here," he said.
"I don't think there's enough of this sort of thing around."
Another camper said attempts to make the area off-limits to visitors had so far been unsuccessful.