Complaints about illegal dumping and fires at Rochester's Aysons Reserve have led Campaspe Shire to hold a meeting about its future.ELAINE COONEY January 9, 2013 4:23am
Bendigo residents (on boat) Nicholas Davis, "Snaz" Barver, Alex Benjamin, (in water) Ella Flood, Kasey Boston and Matthew White enjoyed spending time at Aysons Reserve last week.
Rochester Ward councillor Leigh Wilson will meet with concerned residents near Aysons Reserve next month to discuss its future.
Cr Wilson said he visited the reserve on Wednesday when he received a call from a resident near the reserve about illegal dumping and fires.
Cr Wilson said in the past, Campaspe Shire received similar complaints and said it had been working to rectify issues.
‘‘It’s not an easy fix as it (the reserve) is crown land,’’ he said.
Campaspe Shire services the toilet facility and maintains the grounds.
‘‘I would hate to see the reserve locked up but if we can’t work out some good policy then worst-case scenario (is) we would have to look at shutting out camping,’’ he said.
Cr Wilson said he was concerned that the reserve might be a cost burden on ratepayers and would like to do a community survey on how much money the reserve was bringing to Rochester.
‘‘I don’t think we are getting enough money from the people staying there,’’ he said.
However, reserve visitor Gary Donaldson said he did his shopping daily in Rochester and Elmore.
‘‘Everyone goes in (to town) and buys stuff,’’ he said.
Fellow reserve visitor Debbie Monti said many people were going to town for parts when their boats broke down, while Des Rhook said he spends weeks at a time at the reserve and said he always does his shopping in Rochester.
Cr Wilson said during his visit to the reserve he and a member of the Elmore Fire Brigade saw two illegal fires, which campers were told to extinguish.
‘‘There only needs to be one fire and it would definitely result in a loss of property and potentially a loss of life,’’ he said.
He said he noticed one abandoned tent as well as a portable toilet surrounded by a tent that appeared to be abandoned.
Mr Wilson said other campers were trying to contact the owner of the toilet so they could remove it.
Cr Wilson said he saw evidence of people staying at the reserve on a long-term basis, which was illegal.
‘‘While people use this facility, what about our local caravan park where people pay money?’’ he said.
When asked if he would prefer people chose to pay for the Rochester Caravan Park than use the free facility he said he would ‘‘rather see a balance’’.
He said he was unaware if Campaspe Shire was seeking to purchase the land from the State Government.
He said flood repairs planned for the toilet block would still go ahead in the reserve as money was allocated to it.
As well as an abandoned box of rubbish at the outskirts of the reserve, he believed one caravan to be in breach of the health act as the grey water pipe was near the river.
Board members recall how they helped start Waratah Lodge, a retirement home that has lasted 25 years.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
MORE than 130 camp oven enthusiasts turned up to the Torrumbarry Hotel for its annual camp oven cook off.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The second Koonoomoo Pickers and Packers Charity Ball came to town on the weekend, and was bigger and better than ever.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The second annual National Herd Development Victorian Winter Fair was in action at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre last Wednesday and Thursday.
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