Freedom camping bylaw revisited

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Date:
Oct 18, 2012

The Council will consider improvements to its Freedom Camping Bylaw in light of the requirements of the Freedom Camping Act. 

“We have undertaken a review of the Bylaw, adopted in February, to ensure that under the Act, it is appropriate and meets all requirements,” Lakes Environmental regulatory and corporate manager Lee Webster said. 

Recommended changes to be considered by full Council tomorrow (Friday) include:

  • The inclusion of areas where camping is permitted.
  • The inclusion of prohibited areas due to issues such as health and safety. 

As a consequence of amending the proposed Bylaw, it was necessary to further consult on these changes. 

“It’s important that we ensure this Bylaw deals with the issues of freedom camping in our community  and meets the requirements of the Act, so that we can enforce it with total confidence,” Mr Webster said. 

In the interim Council would - together with wardens throughout the district - continue to move freedom campers on from areas that were not acceptable camping spots (ie town centres, urban areas and sensitive areas) and assist with educating campers about accepted camping locations, enforcement will still be undertaken through the Litter Act. 

Problems from freedom camping in our communities include:

a) Pollution of waterways, roadsides, parks, gardens and other public places with

human waste and rubbish;

b) Risk of fire from campers being unaware of fire rules and risks;

c) Loss of amenity for residents living near popular freedom camping hotspots;

d) Accessibility to areas e.g. boat ramps; and

e) The loss of availability of parking for residents and workers.

 “It is anticipated the consultation would be completed before Christmas, with the ability to issue infringements in place for the busy summer season,” Mr Webster said. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact Lee Webster 03 4500310

By: Jo Blick