Camping advocate: Rainbow Beach could be best in Australia
RAINBOW Beach and the Inskip Peninsula should be the biggest and best camping and caravan area in Australia, according to Inskip camping advocate Reg Lawler.
Mr Lawler said yesterday a near-doubling of camp-site numbers was a feasible idea which would benefit Rainbow Beach businesses far more than expanded property development, as now urged by Gympie Regional Council.
He cited figures showing camper tourism in Queensland is growing at 8% a year, compared to 2% for other tourism accommodation.
He said he had promoted the idea recently in a meeting with National Parks Minister Steve Dickson, saying ideal sites were located south of the Oaks camping area and on the Rainbow Shores Stage Two lease.
"The beachfront area south of the Oaks is already part of the Recreation Area set aside for camping and it would be a good use of the area.
"The Rainbow Shores Two lease expires in November and the area in front has previously been used for camping."
Mr Lawler says his plan would bring immediate benefits to Rainbow Beach businesses and would have much less environmental impact than new subdivided real estate.
Mr Lawler has previously argued that further land development would glut the Rainbow Beach property market and says the area already has enough development land to serve projected demand for the next 50 years.
His plan would mean "at least 5000 campers could stay there at peak times, up from the current limit of 2700."
He said he had raised with Mr Dickson the idea of promoting off-season camping at Inskip, either through his department or a special not-for-profit organisation yet to be formed.
"Minister Dickson gave no commitment but said that he would consider it.
"I informed him I had submitted a proposal, under the Master Planning process for the area, to have the old Mill Site used as a caravan park.
"This would be a temporary use of a valuable area and the business of the town would get an immediate benefit," Mr Lawler said.
He would develop a plan to put to the minister if the idea had support.