BIG BUCKS: The jewel in the Clarence Valley crown, Sandon River, where properties have sold for more than $1 million, when they can get one to put on the market.
BIG BUCKS: The jewel in the Clarence Valley crown, Sandon River, where properties have sold for more than $1 million, when they can get one to put on the market.

LETTER: National Parks case study: Sandon - Pt II

SO THE NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) is "replacing (Sandon's) toilet block with a new composting system because the existing sewage system…has reached the end of its useful life…" Does this mean if my septic fails or costs too much to run, I can erect a dunny over a hole in its lid?

>> RELATED: Sandon in danger of being 'loved to death': NPWS

Adding to my 7/4/16 letter: I know low-key is essential having enjoyed The Entrance long ago, but now it has become a high-rise monstrosity. The following suggestion for Sandon is low-key with class.

Stage I: Just north of the village create a campground with amenity blocks and sites with their own water and power (maybe even the internet). If the NPWS can't afford it, let a private operator build it.

Further north would be a subdivision, initially with 50 cabins sites. They would be "sold" as 99-year leases for a goodly sum plus an annual fee, which for owners could include an annual pass into the park. (For cabins rented out by owners the renters would still have to pay appropriate park fees.) All blocks would have water, power, sewerage and garbage collection paid for by the owners.

Still further north would be wilderness sites for those who want to rough it. There would be a pit toilet, a communal tap, but no power or vehicle access.

Stage II: Most of the current structures would be bulldozed, opening up the whole area around the river mouth. In their place would be a store/ranger office near the entrance; picnic facilities including covered areas with electric barbecues; a playground; an improved boat launching/trailer storage and catch processing facility and a smell-free amenities block.

NPWS have too many parks but insufficient money. How could they afford to do this? The revenue from the site leases and fees would generate seed money. Over time visitors numbers would significantly increase.

A major cost would be for the water and power to the site, and possibly building a sewerage line back to Brooms Head. Most distribution costs would be included in the lease price. But for a pilot project like this the government could contribute.

These are just initial ideas of what could be done to make Sandon "a place to visit". Unfortunately attracting more people seems to go against the grain of what the NPWS really prefers. Their reply could be "No way could we consider this, because just north of the village lives the remaining remnent of the flying, five legged, egg laying, marsupial rat".



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