AFTER removing truckloads of rubbish from the John Williams Reserve at the foot of Mount Canobolas, Cabonne Council has been forced to take a hard-line approach to its its no camping policy.
Cabonne Council spokesman Dale Jones said camping was not allowed outside designated areas including caravan parks and recreational areas such as the Ophir Reserve.
He said council was in the process of erecting more signage to remind people where they could camp. However, in light of increasing demand from seasonal workers, Mr Jones said council was assessing local sites suitable for campers.
“Cabonne Council has already initiated talks with Orange City Council to identify sites that would be suitable as temporary camping areas for workers during harvest season,” he said.
“I believe the old Scout camp near Lake Canobolas is one site that may be investigated.”
Mr Jones said until alternative legal camping sites had been found, rangers would continue to patrol the areas where workers had set up camp, and enforce the no camping provisions.
He confirmed council had cleaned up the makeshift camping area near the John Williams Reserve and campers had been moved on without any problems.
“Council removed one and half truck loads of rubbish on Friday. There was still some rubbish remaining, probably a truck load, and council has since organising its removal,” Mr Jones said.
He said the key problems with illegal camping were the health issues associated with insufficient toilets and washing facilities, as well as rubbish removal.
Council was also concerned about the environmental impact the campers would have on the water ways near the camp.
“Molong Creek runs behind the reserve and Molong’s water supply is sourced from Molong Creek,” he said.
Mr Jones said council was aware local orchardists relied on backpackers and casual fruit pickers to harvest their crops.
“In the past council hasn’t received complaints about a small number of people camping in reserves near these orchards,” he said.
“But large numbers of campers using reserves with no facilities obviously causes problems and council had little choice but to take action to enforce the no camping provisions, in the interest of personal health and hygiene, and the creek environment.”