The economic regulator will have the deciding voice in the Meander Valley free camping debate following a council land ban.
Concerns have been raised by several local businesses and residents about the impact low-cost camping restrictions could have on the local economy.
This is due to the National Competition Principles adopted by the Meander Valley Council last month, banning camping on all recreational land managed by the council.
Under this policy, the council is breaching the principles by allowing visitors to camp for free on its land.
Councillor Tanya King put forward a motion at a council meeting last week in response to the concerns, recommending the council lobbied the state government to review the existing free camping principles.
However, an amended version passed which put any lobbying plans on hold until after the economic regulator decided whether offering free camping in regional towns was detrimental to local businesses.
"Council does recognise that tourists have come to expect a variety of camping options when they visit.”Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins
It is uncertain when the decision will be made, but it will be in the new year.
Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the council was obligated to formalise arrangements around camping in the area in November.
“The first step was to adopt a policy that ensured we complied with the State Government’s National Competition policy,” Mr Perkins said.
“However, council does recognise that tourists have come to expect a variety of camping options when they visit the municipality.”
The council voted to halt any lobbying plans until it could be guided by advice from the state government, he said.
At the time, Cr King said the overwhelming message from the community was the restrictions would have a negative impact on the local economy.
“It’s up to us to lobby for change,” she said.
It was deputy mayor Michael Kelly, who put forward the successful amended to wait for the economic regulator’s decision.
“We shouldn’t act on our own until we’ve been guided,” Cr Kelly said.
The council supported a motion to seek a review of the existing policy and to submit a motion to the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s general meeting in March next year.