Waterson Way campers warned

PEOPLE camping in vans on Waterson Way in Airlie Beach are warned that infringements will be issued if security staff catch them camping in the parks.

Whitsunday Regional Council implement regular patrols of Waterson Way and will now issue infringements of $200 to any people deemed to be camping in the car parks.

Camping is defined as occupying or sleeping in the van without proof of alternative accommodation.

Council's Program Manager for Environment and Compliance Scott Hardy said it was illegal for people to camp anywhere in the Whitsundays that was not a designated camping zone.

He said that in recent months Waterson Way had become a bit of a hotspot for campers as they were given marching orders from other illegal camping areas in Airlie Beach.

“Through their network of other travellers they seem to migrate around the town,” he said.

Local residents like Debbie Bosset have taken notice of the problem as well.

She expressed her concern about the bad image it created for the Whitsundays.

“I don't want to see people cleaning their teeth and spitting in the gutter,” she said.

“One of the girls I work with saw a female squatting in the gutter and urinating beside her campervan.

“It just doesn't look very nice, that's all.”

Backpackers will argue when looking for low budget accommodation in the Whitsundays, they aren't exactly spoilt for choice.

Belgium tourists Damien Sarolea and Delphine Biller voiced their concern about parking in the Whitsundays. “We would love to have a place here to park,” Ms Biller said.

“It seems to be a real touristy town.”

They both suggested that a designated area for backpackers in campervans somewhere slightly outside Airlie Beach could solve the problem for all parties and enable them to meet other like minded travellers.

Mr Hardy said that Council were in the process of negotiating with commercial operators about the viability of this.

In the meantime, travellers can stay in the various caravan parks and tourist parks in the area – but they obviously must pay.

Mr Hardy said people camping at Waterson Way and any of the sign posted no-camping zones in the Whitsundays would be fined.

There are four clearly marked no camping signs on the corners of Waterson Way.

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