Letters to the editor

EYE SPY: Residents have been invited to join the annual koala count in Narrandera on April 30.
EYE SPY: Residents have been invited to join the annual koala count in Narrandera on April 30.

Free camping has merits 

The caravan and free camping article recently received much response on Facebook sites.  

Given that there over half-a-million recreational vehicles in Australia, one could guess that half may be couples or seniors - potentially coming through, and patronising, your region.  

My response may interest your council.

As a caravanning couple, we are not paying $35 to $50 per over-night, especially where we book in late afternoon and leave mid-morning.  

We can't see any value in that deal - so we are self-contained, to find an alternative.  

In a park, we may use the laundry (paying laundromat prices), and use minimal power, water and ablutions.  

We do not use any other facilities that families use - where they may feel they get their value for the stay.  

If there was a fairer graduated scale according to "time stayed" and "use of family facilities", we would be happy to support more caravan parks.  

Many seniors are pensioners and thus must keep their expenditure low.  

Where there is an RV (free/low cost) welcoming town, we notice that caravanners buy fuel, browse the shops, buy souvenirs/clothes/food and definitely patronize the hotel, supermarket and bakery (bringing “outside money” in, to support the whole town) - and may even stay longer.

Where there are signs (even threatening fines) rejecting free stays overnight, we just drive on through (believing “they” don’t want us).  

The solution is having a fair balance for all and we wait for caravan parks being prepared to negotiate a better deal for us.

Having big "national caravan park chains" does not help the situation.

This would enable more flexibility in pricing for couples or seniors who just want, and are only able to afford, the basics. 

I am confident that our letter would reflect so many caravanners opinions.

Thank you for reading our point-of-view.

Ken Tasker

Mindarie

Western Australia 

Be part of count 

I SPY with my little eye, something beginning with “k”.

Join the annual Narrandera Koala Count on April 30 for your best chance of seeing a koala in the wild.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Narrandera Koala Regeneration Centre Committee is running the count and need as many keen-eyed koala spotters as possible.

The count has been running for 27 years and each year between 30 and 70 koalas are spotted by volunteers.

Locals become a koala detective for the day by learning how to spot one using clues. It gives people a rare opportunity to see koalas in their natural habitat and we get a vital snapshot of how the population is faring.

Koalas were released into the Narrandera Nature Reserve in 1972 in an attempt to re-establish a colony and have since spread down both sides of the Murrumbidgee River. The more people who take part, the more koalas we generally count – so grab some binoculars and bring the whole family for a fun day out.

To take part in the koala count, follow the signs from the Lake Talbot Canal Bridge and meet at the Narrandera Flora and Fauna Reserve at 9:45am for a 10am start.

Rotary will provide a barbecue lunch for volunteers for a gold coin donation.

Kids are most welcome, but remember to bring a water bottle and wear long trousers, sturdy covered shoes, a sun hat, mosquito repellent and sun cream. For more information contact Griffith NPWS Office on 6966 8100 or the Narrandera Visitor Centre on 6959 5545. If it is raining, find out whether the koala count has been cancelled by calling 0429 319 585.

Robin Mares

NPWS manager