Unhappy camper after caravan park trouble

TRAVELLER Dwight Walker has called for Orange City Council to invest in a CCTV camera for the Colour City Caravan Park after he was crash-tackled to the ground and a fellow camper left with a broken jaw by backpackers on Christmas Eve.

With the cherry picking season in full swing, Mr Walker said the park was full with about 50 backpackers.

While most are friendly and fit in with the other campers and caravanners Mr Walker said some had been trashing the park.

“They’ve taken over the kitchen and they trash it every night,” he said.

“They fill up the bins until they’re so heavy the cleaners won’t empty them and all the bench tops are covered with food.”

The situation reached breaking point on Christmas Eve when Mr Walker asked a group of international backpackers to turn down their music at about 1am and the group retaliated with violence.

“One guy assaulted me and another Aussie got a broken jaw,” he said.

“They are pretty rebellious and difficult.

“I’ve still got a sore hip from the crash- tackle.”

Mr Walker said his fellow campers called police to the park.

“Two paddy wagons came out at 1am but they couldn’t stop them, they kept going until 4am,” he said.

“I went to the police on Boxing Day but they said it was a day too late.”

He believes council should install a wireless CCTV camera to monitor the area in a bid to curb the bad behaviour.

“As soon as you had a camera down near the kitchen they’d stop,” he said.

Council spokesman Nick Redmond said there were no plans to install cameras at the park and said council had received no complaints from park visitors or residents.

“We’re not the police,” he said.

“They’re young people travelling and sometimes they’re a bit noisy ... but most people are well behaved.”

Mr Walker said he was now forced to segregate himself from the backpackers to avoid any more confrontations.

“I now eat my breakfast at my tent,” he said.

“It’s a really good kitchen but unfortunately they don’t respect it.”

He hopes most of the backpackers will move on before New Year’s Eve.

Long term park resident Dudley Howarth said he saw the police at the park on Christmas Eve less than a week after a more serious incident when two police cars and an ambulance were called to break up a fight between backpackers.

“Every year it’s the same,” he said.

“After dark they wait until the caretaker goes and they all come in and use the showers.”

Canobolas Local Area Command Inspector Peter Atkins said there was no major incident at the caravan park on Christmas Eve.

clare.colley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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