Rangers have begun issuing camping permits to campers at Rochester's Aysons Reserve.
Campaspe Shire has started handing out camping permits to campers at Aysons Reserve to determine their planned departure dates.
Campaspe Shire’s service executive manager Paul McKenzie said rangers began issuing camping permits to campers at Aysons Reserve on Friday so council could refer to details of the campers should any issues arise.
‘‘The permit form details the camper’s arrival date and proposed departure date,’’ he said.
Mr McKenzie said permits could be easily extended by rangers during their on-site visits.
‘‘Generally, campers have an idea of when they propose to vacate, however this can be extended through the issuing of another permit, again providing us with details of who is in the reserve and when,’’ he said.
Mr McKenzie said local laws were being reviewed to consider a future 28-day camping limit at the reserve and part of this review process would require legal advice.
‘‘The local law will also require community input and, once drafted, will be widely advertised and discussed with the community seeking comment and submissions,’’ he said.
‘‘While initial discussions have suggested a future 28-day camping limit, this is not part of the current local law and is not being enforced.’’
One long-term resident, who did not wish to be named, said a ranger arrived on Friday morning issuing camping permits with an end date.
He said the ranger came with a list of rules and made a handwritten receipt stating his permit was valid until February 28, even though this was not the date he planned to leave.
Mr McKenzie denied 28-day camping permits were being enforced by rangers.
‘‘Current permits have no 28-day period. Campaspe Shire’s local law does not contain any provisions for the length of time for camping at the reserve,’’ he said.
He said permits issued with departure dates only indicated the date the camper proposed leaving the reserve.
Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson said following review, any change in the law would not come into force until after his February meeting with nearby landholders.
Mr Wilson said he would speak to Aysons Reserve residents following the meeting.
He said he personally believed the 28-day rule was too strict as it would not cater for residents who stayed at the reserve on their way to places like Queensland and again on their way home.
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