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RV parking investigation passed

At the February 2023 Ordinary Council Meeting, I successfully moved and Council passed a

motion to investigate the costs, feasibility and potential locations of a purpose-built recreational vehicle (RV) parking area in Gawler.

The motion passed was as follows:

That Council investigates:

a) Locations for a purpose-built recreational vehicle parking area within close proximity to Murray Street, including but not limited to, the Gawler Visitor Information Centre carpark, Goose Island and on Murray Street opposite Ayers Street, adjacent to SA Water depot

b) The cost and resources required to develop the recreational vehicle parking area

c) The cost and resources required to allow the recreational vehicle parking area to include potable water and a dump point

d) The feasibility, cost and resources required to make overnight parking available at the recreational vehicle parking area, acknowledging that Council owns the Gawler Caravan Park

And provides a report back to Council on points a), b), c) and d) by the May 2023 Ordinary Council Meeting.

Below is a copy of the speech I read to the Council Chamber when presenting my motion, explaining the reasons behind the motion and why I am so passionate about this topic:

During the 2022 Local Government Election campaign, many members of the Gawler community expressed their interest in the benefits of creating the infrastructure to encourage and allow recreational vehicles, such as caravans, campervans and camper trailers, to park within the Town of Gawler.

Many travellers, particularly caravaners and campers on longer road trips, seek out easy to access towns, services and places to park, when looking for locations and points of interests to stop at. According to the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, travellers spend on average $770 per week at local businesses, when they are able easily stop and stay at towns.

Currently, the Town of Gawler’s ‘Gawler Welcomes Recreational Vehicles’ initiative is not adequate to cater for more than 3 large recreational vehicles at a time, being 1 at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre Carpark and 2-3 adjacent to the Gawler Caravan Park on Main North Road. Further to this, both parking areas have parking limits of 4 and 2 hours respectively, making it particularly uninviting for travellers to stop and provide sufficient time to explore our Central Business District, grab a meal, shop at our retail stores or explore our Town’s heritage by foot.

This motion simply allows Council Staff to investigate the feasibility, infrastructure required and associated costs to construct a purpose-built recreational vehicle parking area, which is in closer proximity to Murray Street, allows more vehicles to park, contains easy entry and exit access and is more encouraging for travellers to stop and park in.

Point c) of the motion refers to a dump point, which allows travellers with portable toilets to dispose of their waste in a safe and hygienic manner, is an appeal for travellers when looking for towns to stop in. I am aware the Town of Gawler currently has two dump points for public use, at the Gawler Caravan Park and Gawler Gateway Tourist Park, for a small fee to travellers not staying at the park.

Further to this, point d) requests Council to investigate the feasibility of the proposed recreational vehicle parking area to allow overnight parking. I am aware this may negatively impact the Gawler Caravan Park’s business, however, directing Council to investigate this option would allow Elected Members to make an informed decision on this matter.

Personally, I would only support points c) and d) in future, if the investigation showed that allowing overnight parking would increase travellers staying at our town for one-night stays, where they boost our local economy by supporting our local hospitality and retail venues.

This investigation specifically aligns with actions in the 2019 – 2024 Town of Gawler Tourism Plan, which lists parking as a key action to achieve, and states that Council “continue to review parking in key visitor locations for caravans and RV’s”

I ask Elected Members to support this motion, so that in future, we can make an informed decision on the future of tourism within the Town of Gawler.

Views are my own and not that of the Town of Gawler

Authorised by E. White PO Box 331 Gawler SA 5118

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