Douglas Shire Council is allocating extra funds and resources to crack down on illegal camping.
An extra Local Laws Officer will be recruited to assist Regulatory Services with the management of illegal camping, including early morning patrols, and associated enforcement.
Council will also allocate funds to engage local police on a commercial basis to assist Local Laws as required.
Illegal camping signage will be installed at hot spot locations throughout the Douglas Shire to complement the crackdown.
Council will investigate long-term options to address illegal camping, including the consideration to establish free or low-cost camps in the Douglas Shire.
Mayor Julia Leu said while tourism was the main economic driver of the local economy, camping outside of designated caravan and camping sites can adversely affect the communities throughout Douglas and their pristine local environments.
“While Council recognises illegal camping cannot be eliminated, it can be managed by having a measured approach that balances tourist perceptions with community expectations,” Mayor Leu said. “Council needs to find the balance when undertaking illegal camping enforcement.
“A pro-active approach to compliance and enforcement, increases in early morning patrols, installation of signage to key locations and working in partnership with the local police are measures that can be used in the short-term to deliver direct benefits to the local community and visiting tourists.”
During 2014, Council received 103 complaints about illegal camping from the public, with Council officers observing 244 instances of illegal camping during early morning patrols.