City of Albany set to decline offer to seek RV Friendly status over competition fears

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany councillors have been recommended to oppose an offer to seek RV Friendly status.
Camera IconCity of Albany councillors have been recommended to oppose an offer to seek RV Friendly status. Credit: Mandurah Caravan & RV Centre/Mandurah Caravan & RV Centre

City of Albany councillors have been advised to reject a request to secure RV Friendly status because the free camping facilities required to fit the criteria would have a negative impact on local accommodation providers.

Councillors will vote on whether to support an officer’s recommendation to reject a proposal to become an RV Friendly town.

According to a report put to councillors ahead of the meeting, the City was approached by the Association of Caravan Clubs in WA in February last year to consider becoming RV Friendly.

This involves meeting criteria including provision of appropriate caravan parking bays within the town centre, access to potable water, and access to a dump point.

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The report states the City “currently satisfies most of both the essential and desirable criteria by default, given it is a larger regional town”.

“The essential criteria that the City doesn’t satisfy, and does not support, is provision of short-term (24-hour/48-hour/72-hour) parking within a reasonable distance to the CBD,” the report states.

Officers approached local caravan park operators who showed “little support” for more free RV parking near the CBD as it would cause direct competition with operators who paid City rates and the sites would be difficult to monitor.

“The officer recommendation is to decline the offer to seek RV Friendly status given the City already has extensive assets and infrastructure in place to facilitate free or low-fee visitors, and it is understood that further free facilities may adversely impact on the viability of local operators,” the report states.

The report noted there were six free or low-fee camping grounds, 30 free sites, 20 low-fee sites, and four dump points within the municipality.

Councillors will vote on the recommendation at Tuesday’s ordinary council meeting.

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