Cobar Shire Council will look at opening up Ward Oval to free campers.
The matter was discussed at last Thursday’s Ordinary Council Meeting following a notice of motion put to the meeting by Cr Peter Yench.
“Something needs to be done and I think it can be done legally,” Cr Yench told the meeting.
“We need the caravan people.
“I welcome them with open arms,” he said.
Cr Yench said there was a lack of organised and appropriate free camping sites within Cobar and called for Ward Oval to act as an alternate site to the Newey (which has been temporarily closed to campers) until such time that the approved development for free camping at the Newey has been established and approved by council.
He said Cobar urgently needed a safe area that would attract free campers to come and stay in Cobar.
Cr Bob Sinclair questioned the legality of camping at Ward Oval, and the need for individual development applications (DA) which are required by council for events that involve camping such as the Cobar Show and the sheep dog trials.
Cr Jarrod Marsden questioned if a “blanket DA” could be applied for in this instance and was advised by council’s general manager Peter Vlatko that council would need to make an application and see what comes of it.
Cr Marsden said he wasn’t convinced that Ward Oval would have the same lure as the Newey had for free campers.
He said when he spoke to free campers in the past at the Newey, they said they camped at there because they wanted to, not because they were “steered” to go there.