Geelong Spotlights Low-Cost Camping Need

In Victoria, City of Greater Geelong councillors have turned the spotlight on the need for more low-cost camping.

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Jul 06 2022
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This follows a feasibility study into establishing a site north of the city to help cater to the growing recreational vehicle market.

The opening of the new Sprit of Tasmania terminal at Corio Quay in spring is expected to bring approximately 25,000 RVs to north Geelong each year. The ferry to the Apple Isle is expected to increase tourism expenditure in Geelong by $57.3 million by 2029-30.

Councillors noted the findings of the independent review into low-cost camping and requested further analysis on the potential operating model for the facility. They requested further exploration of the consultant's preferred location at Seagull Paddock, noting the importance of considering all potential future opportunities for the overall site. Councillors also noted that should Seagull Paddock be considered incompatible for low-cost camping compared with other opportunities, expressions of interest should be considered from landowners and tenants north of Cowies Creek.

Greater Geelong Mayor, Peter Murrihy, said the City received 595 responses to public surveys about providing low-camping and amenities in Geelong’s north, including feedback from 405 residents. Eighty-six per cent of residents supported providing low-cost camping and facilities at a site in North Geelong.

'Councillors will carefully consider the needs of campers and local residents, and the need to reduce the risk of illegal camping and amenity issues,' he said.

The report forecast that recreational travellers would contribute around $65,000 daily to the City of Greater Geelong's economy. It also found an RV site would support the local tourism industry, which provides jobs for more than 9200 people.

Windermere Ward Councillor Kylie Grzybek thought it was appropriate for the council to consider providing facilities to meet growing demand from recreational vehicles. 'Camping is the fastest growing segment of Australia's domestic tourism market,' he said. 'In fact, low-cost camping contributes an average of $1.4 million annually to Geelong's economy, with spending across our hotels, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions.

'We don't want travellers to miss out on attractions in Geelong's north such as the You Yangs and Serendip Sanctuary as well as events such as the Australian International Airshow and the Lara Food and Wine Festival.'

An initial assessment of potential and existing RV amenities and an RV Friendly Town Review was presented to the council In November 2013. A Notice of Motion in July 2021 highlighted the need to review the initial assessment into RV amenities along with low-cost camping in the northern areas of Geelong.

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