‘DISGUSTING’: Holidaymakers slam stay at SDRC campground
THE council-owned Washpool Reserve Campground has been slammed as "disgusting" by recent visitors, renewing calls to reinstate permanent caretakers.
Darryl Weber and his family visited the Leslie Dam site for the first time this year on the weekend, after health concerns and the pandemic derailed their usually frequent visits.
Mr Weber was shocked by what he says was the "grubby" and tick-infested state of the campground.
He said the fees he paid were a "rip-off".
"You could see it was going downhill when I was last there at Christmas - unkempt and untidy. The grass was long and even then, the tick problem was quite bad," Mr Weber said.
"The money (the council) is taking in fees is only going one way - it certainly isn't going back into the dam, and it's left a really bitter taste in my mouth.
"I'd have to see marked improvements in the place before I went back, which is really sad because four generations of my family have gone and stayed there."
Councillor for Parks and Open Spaces Andrew Gale said the SDRC was now aware of numerous visitor complaints.
"Truly, Leslie Dam is a real asset we have, and people come from all over to go boating, camping, and whatever else out there," Cr Gale said.
"I'm certainly very keen to take those concerns from Mr Weber to get some answers for him and for everybody else that's interested."
Danielle Cannon and her family made multiple trips to the campsite over the past 15 years, and said she noticed its "significant decline" in the years since caretakers were removed.
"It's less something you can quantify, and more just a feel to the place - it seems rundown and abandoned, even though you're still paying a premium price," Ms Cannon said.
"If there was someone there all the time, it'd be great - someone going around picking up the rubbish, someone there to keep the rowdy groups calmed down.
An SDRC spokesperson said there were no current plans to reinstate a permanent caretaker.
"There is currently a contracted caretaker responsible for the Washpool Reserve Campground," they said.
"No complaints about the quality of the grounds have been received by council."