Camp site to get some rules

Camping has been temporarily banned at the Wodonga showground. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Camping has been temporarily banned at the Wodonga showground. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

GREY nomads and other campers might soon be allowed to camp legally on a registered camping ground at the Wodonga showground.

The show society wants to formalise an informal — but not illegal — practice that has gone on for 30 years.

More caravanners have camped at the showground in the past year or two because it is cheap, quiet, safe and handy to shops.

But as the operation is not registered it doesn’t come under residential tenancy regulations and requirements for safety and other issues.

The society has prohibited camping for the time being and applied to the city council for a planning permit to operate a registered caravan and camping ground for up to eight caravans.

The main reason for registering is to comply with safety and risk issues and to end the “no rules” situation that has operated until now.

Among restrictions proposed by the society is a 30-day limit for any one caravan, while other rules will cover noise, pets and drinking alcohol.

Planning consultant EDM has produced a plan showing the camping sites would be all together opposite toilets near the Hamilton Smith Drive entrance.

Show society secretary Katrina Gollan said that school students were scheduled to plant trees to screen the area from neighbours and passers-by, work that might be done during the annual show on March 15-16.

The show society’s application says most of the caravanners to date have been grey nomads but others were people “between fixed accommodation”.

“After talking to many of our visitors, we found they have simple needs,” the application states,” Ms Gollan said.

“Many with large self-contained vans do not require swimming pools, barbecue facilities and landscaped grounds.”

Camping fees have helped the show society improve amenities.

In the past, caravans have been asked to move when big events are on.