Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Plan to privatise island campgrounds causes concern

A council proposal to lease island camping grounds to a private operator was met with fierce opposition when the proposal became public knowledge.

Many island residents and visitors were concerned about the proposed length of the leases, 30 years, and the lack of community consultation on the issue.

A petition was circulated by concerned residents and a flier, co-signed by FOSI and other groups, was distributed on the island protesting against the move.

In response Redlands City Council conducted some “retro community consultation” and called a meeting of interested community groups, which included FOSI, SIMO, Amity Progress Association, Quandamooka and others.

At this meeting FOSI voiced its concerns that the campgrounds retain their bush settings and new development should be environmentally-sensitive. FOSI also stated that bush camping on Flinders and Main beaches should be managed carefully to protect these sensitive and beautiful areas.

A number of community groups are now working with council to investigate the possibility of a community-based management group for the grounds.

Council has given the local groups a good hearing and has asked them to present a business plan. Some groups in the community are interested in taking up management of the campgrounds. FOSI supports their endeavours and congratulates them on their determination and on the hours of work they have put into their proposal..

Kate Campbell