Caravan Park Crisis: Action at last

Two state governments are looking to take on the challenge of addressing our out-dated caravan park legislation, a subject we highlighted in our last issue, but will their proposed changes be enough to solve the problem?

The NSW Government recently joined Western Australia in seeking feedback from the community on proposed changes to the state’s caravan and campground planning rules, with submissions open until December 14.

The NSW paper includes several wide-reaching changes, such as combining the dual approvals processes for manufactured home estates and caravan parks and campgrounds that currently exists into one single framework.

A spokesperson from the Department of Planning and Environment says the review is about recognizing the changing needs of the tourism and affordable housing sectors, and finding ways to reduce red tape for creating new parks.

But while the NSW review appears to tackle many key issues, there is one glaring omission – free camping. Despite being one of the most contentious issues to affect the caravan sector, it would seem this matter has been left on the backburner.

The Department of Planning says that although the current proposal doesn’t specifically address free camping, it may be included in further stages of review.

CCIA NSW CEO Lyndel Gray says her association will be active participants in the review, seeing it as an opportunity to access the current needs of the industry and provide certainly to councils, developers, and caravan park owners.

They will also be keeping a close eye on all stages of the review to ensure proposals really are the best interest of the industry.

“The CCIA is working closely with our members to develop a response to the issues in the Discussion Paper and will work with Government to ensure we achieve effective regulation of the industry,” Gray says.

“We will also be focused on ensuring we do not see any erosion of important planning and operational aspects of the regulation that was first introduced in 1986.”

The NSW announcement comes just months after the WA Government launched its own review into caravan and camping regulation, a move it hoped would cut industry red tape and free up more caravan parks for travellers.

One of the controversial inclusions in WA review is a three-day limit for camping on private property, however Department Principal Legislation Officer Sheryl Siekierka says the legislation for this has actually been in place since 1995.

Simon Glossop, CEO of the Caravan Industry Association WA, says it’s vital for consumers to make use of the submission periods, saying they can help ensure the needs of both the public and industry are considered.

“While various stakeholders are consulted to a degree, these reviews are managed by councillors, so it’s important for the public to have their opinion heard too.”

“As caravanners ourselves, we want to help protect the consumer. If a consumer is booking a site, they need to know they’re being protected under the standards.”

Submissions for the NSW review close 14 December. Visit for more info.