A huge loss for campers

By SALLY GORDON

sally.gordon@dailyexaminer.com.au

A HOLIDAY by the beach at Diggers Camp will no longer be the Christmas tradition for Leon Capra and his family.

The Capra family, of Brisbane, have spent their annual end-ofyear holidays at Diggers Camp for the past 20 years.

But on Tuesday the Clarence Valley Council decided to put a stop to camping in the reserve because the current plan of management (POM) for the park is inconsistent with local government regulations.

Council voted 7-2 for the Clarence Coast Reserve Trust to undertake a review of the Diggers Camp headland Reserve plan of management based on the principle of not continuing primitive camping in the reserve.

As part of the recommendation the existing approval to operate the camping ground will be revoked.

Mr Capra said he was stunned when he heard about the decision.

He said he had received a number of phone calls from other campers who also were disappointed.

"It's a huge loss not being able to camp there," he said.

"Council has turned their back on 60 years of camping history."

A report to council stated that the current POM was 'ambiguous in terms of the definition of the camping ground and refers to the licensed camping area only in a map'.

Campers, however, will still be able to stay at the Boorkoom camp grounds near the Diggers Camp village.

During council's debate on the issue, councillor Doug Mackenzie said he believed that council had already poured too many resources into the campsite. He said if the Diggers campsite was to remain open, a full-time manager would be required.

Diggers Camp resident Kay Boyle said the seven councillors who voted against continuing camping were 'doing what their civic duty required ? abiding by the law'.



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