Meander Valley Council to review free camping, correctional centre

Storm clouds roll in behind a poppy field near Liffey in the Meander Valley. Picture: Scott Gelston
Storm clouds roll in behind a poppy field near Liffey in the Meander Valley. Picture: Scott Gelston

The issue of free camping will be on the table at the upcoming Meander Valley Council meeting.

A report was made for the council to consider a notice of motion from Councillor Tanya King, asking that the council lobby the state government to review the existing application of National Competition Principles for free camping on council land.

Cr King said she had been contacted by several local business owners and residents expressing concern about the restrictions on low-cost camping, and the potential negative impact it could have on the area’s economy.

It is one of several motions to be discussed at the council’s meeting on December 12.

Another report was made by Councillor Ian Mackenzie for the council to consider a notice of motion to write to the government to express interest in working with all levels of government to create a Northern correctional centre next to Ashley Youth Detention Centre.

In 2016, Cr Mackenzie moved a motion in support of the Ashley staff. 

On October 17, McIntyre MLC Greg Hall moved a motion in Tasmania’s upper house for the state government to consider the building of a Northern centre, on the basis of the Risdon Prison Complex being close to capacity with limited facilities, and a lack of “equity” for visitations for prisoners.

At the Meander Valley Council meeting in September, the council made the decision to approve a new capital works for the construction of a new Westbury Recreation Ground.

Prior to the November meeting, the council received a petition with 487 signatures outlining the concern of the community.

“The community and existing user groups originally asked for an upgrade of existing facilities. Council’s decision does not appear to represent and promote the interests of the community,” the petition read.

“The financial impact on ratepayers is starting to become apparent and Council needs to be accountable to the community.”

It has been recommended in the agenda that the council hold a public meeting to resolve the issue.

The Meander Valley Council meeting will be held on at 1.30pm council offices.