Free to fee for Adelaide Plains camping sites

Campers in the Adelaide Plains Council area will no longer be given a “free ride” when it comes to a short stay in the district, with the introduction of camping fees and stay limits at two popular camping grounds.

APC recently adopted a new Short Stay Accommodation Policy, which outlines new terms and conditions, and sets time frames for campers at the camping grounds.

With regard to camping at the Mallala oval complex, APC has closed this option for travellers, citing the legality of the facility as a temporary short stay site.

Campers will now have to camp in the designated camping ground to the East of the oval and utilise a permit system, with the completion of a self-registration form, which is collected in a lockable box located at these reserves.

The policy also allows for a fee to be levied for the use of the grounds.

APC’s general manager of infrastructure, Martin Waddington, says the changes will bring council in line with other councils across the state, as well as raise some much needed revenue to maintain the facilities at the sites.

Mr Waddington said council considered the option of budgeting an estimated $13,000 to create a new temporary short stay accommodation area directly east of the Mallala oval, allowing for approximately 12 sites, at its April 18 meeting but the recommendation was not supported by councillors.

However, a subsequent recommendation introducing a charge of $10 per site per night, which will apply to both Parham and the new Mallala camp ground, as well as the installation of a coin operated timer fitted to the existing shower at the Mallala oval, which is set at $2 for a 7 minute shower, was carried.

“The area where visitors have camped at the Mallala oval is determined to be not a formal or legal camping ground,” Mr Waddington said.

“A new enhanced camping ground is proposed on the newly gazetted area immediately to the east of the oval grounds.

“A further matter is that of the current status of allowing camping free of charge.

“This is at odds with what is considered as normal practice around the state and is also a burden on the ratepayer as the cost of maintaining facilities such as toilets and showers is not offset by any specific income and so has to be  funded through general rates.”

Mr Waddington said APC has already begun discussions with interested parties to further develop an enhanced camping ground or caravan park at the proposed new Mallala camp site, which would independently operate the site in the
future.

Signage outlining the new changes and charges is currently being installed at Parham and the Mallala oval, with the sites to be managed by council’s general inspector.

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