Camp site mooted for northern suburbs

The City of Greater Geelong is looking to tap into the growing recreational vehicle (RV) market and will examine a feasibility study into establishing a low-cost camping site in the city’s north.

The opening of the new Spirit of Tasmania terminal at Corio Quay in spring 2022 is expected to bring approximately 25,000 recreational vehicles to north Geelong each year, including motorhomes, campervans, coaches and caravans.

Councillors noted the findings of the independent review into low-cost camping and requested further analysis on the potential operating model for the facility.

Councillors requested further exploration of the consultant’s preferred location at Seagull Paddock in North Geelong, noting the importance of considering all potential future opportunities for the overall site.

Councillors also noted that should Seagull Paddock be considered incompatible for low-cost camping when compared to other opportunities for the site currently under investigation, that council should consider calling for expressions of interest from landowners and tenants north of Cowies Creek who may be able to identify an alternate site for low-cost camping in the northern suburbs.

Mayor Peter Murrihy said the City received 595 responses to public surveys about providing low-camping and amenities in Geelong’s north, including feedback from 405 residents.

“Eighty-six per cent of residents supported providing low-cost camping and facilities at a site in North Geelong,” he said.

“Councillors will carefully consider the needs of campers and local residents, and the need to reduce the risk of illegal camping and amenity issues.”

The report forecast that recreational travellers will contribute around $65 a day to the City of Greater Geelong’s economy. It also found that an RV site would support the local tourism industry, which provides jobs for more than 9200 people.

In November 2013, an initial assessment of potential and existing RV amenities and an RV Friendly Town Review was presented to Council. A Notice of Motion in July 2021 highlighted the need to review the initial assessment into RV amenities along with low-cost camping in the northern areas of Geelong.

The Spirit of Tasmania is expected to increase tourism expenditure in Geelong by $57.3 million by 2029-30.