Council warning: get camping permits or face fines
THE council says despite a lack of statistical evidence, illegal campers on the Hervey Bay Esplanade are getting the message that free camping is illegal.
"While we don't keep stats on how many people they are 'moving on', feedback from the officers indicates that they are not coming across repeat offenders," tourism and regional marketing portfolio councillor Stuart Taylor said.
"In the past three weeks, compliance officers have been visiting sites to let campers know it is illegal to stay overnight and point them to the available caravan parks.
"The aim is to educate backpackers and campers so they spread the word.
"They know people are fined for illegal camping in other areas and expect it to happen here as well."
Cr Taylor said the education program would end soon and the council would start issuing fines.
The council is also moving to improve signage, especially at high profile areas such as the All Abilities Playground car park to reinforce its message.
This comes after local councils across the state were handed a list of guidelines from the Queensland Government.
"In line with the Queensland Camping Options Toolkit, I will recommend that Council develop a Regional Camping Stakeholder Group," Cr Taylor said.
"I am eager to establish the group and progress work relating to a market needs and infrastructure needs analysis, as well as discuss local laws, enforcement and non-commercial camping policies."