CRANKY CAMPERS: Leyburn RSL president Gary Sprott is pushing the council to reverse its decision to cut free stays at the local camp site.
CRANKY CAMPERS: Leyburn RSL president Gary Sprott is pushing the council to reverse its decision to cut free stays at the local camp site. Emma Channon

Leyburn leaders table petition to reverse council decision

LEYBURN businesses lost valuable tourism income after the Southern Downs Regional Council restricted the number of days caravans could stay at the free campsite in town.

They have called on the council to reverse its decision and open the campsite to long-term stays.

The campsite has a toilet and shower block that RSL staff and volunteers maintain.

Leyburn RSL president Gary Sprott will present a petition to the council today and said the community was united in its demands.

"There is over 90 signatures on the petition and only 150 people live in Leyburn, but we didn't get the kids to sign it,” he said. For years, visitors could stay for up to a week but the council cut it back to three days.

Mr Sprott said the decline in tourist traffic was noticeable as soon as the restrictions were introduced about a year ago.

"It has really affected business,” he said

"I had meeting with the owners of the Royal Hotel, the post office and the general store.

"We are not happy with the way it happened.

"Tourists need more than three days to see the Southern Downs.”

There is no on-site dump point for caravans but Mr Sprott said there were other options for visitors to dispose of their waste.

He acknowledged a free campsite affected some tourism operators, but said no such business existed in Leyburn.

The subject of free camping was at the top of the agenda during the council's "Love Leyburn” town planning discussion on March 7.

Mr Sprott did not attend the public meeting but said other businesses pushed the idea.

"It is taking money from not just Leyburn but the whole of the Southern Downs,” he said.



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