Free camping resumes at Casino Showground

IN a boost for tourism, Richmond Valley Council will be reopening the free camping site at the Casino Showground and Racecourse to cater for owners of fully self-contained vehicles who prefer not to stay in established parks.

From Monday 6 May, travellers can make bookings by calling the Casino Visitor Information Centre on 6660 0325, or by emailing Travellers are encouraged to book during the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm.

The specifically-marked area at the Showground is limited to 12 vehicles for a maximum stay of 48 hours each. The Showground is already served by a dump point, however, all vehicles must be self-contained, meaning owners will need to be responsible for their own water supply, sink, shower, grey-water storage, toilet and rubbish removal.

The Showground has a no-dog policy due to it being an active racecourse.

The camping sites will be managed in accordance with Council’s rules and regulations, and will be monitored by Council rangers, who will regularly patrol the area.

Acting General Manager Angela Jones said the free camp was a good way to encourage travellers passing through town to linger longer.

Ms Jones said anecdotal evidence suggested many travellers using the Summerland Way were stopping at the Braemar State Forest rest area, and only passing through Casino on their way to Queensland.

She said this meant many local businesses were missing out on important trade.

“Encouraging more travellers to stay overnight can only benefit the local economy through the purchasing of local goods and services,” Ms Jones said.

“We would like to think that what is not being spent on accommodation by campers is being used to purchase food and retail goods and spent on transport needs, such as fuel and tyres.”

Ms Jones said Council was confident the camping site would not have a negative impact on existing accommodation premises as these travellers were not stopping in town anyway.

“Our Discover Richmond Valley team already advises visitors to use local accommodation providers, including holiday parks, however, we believe campers could add a substantial contribution to the local economy,” she said.

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