Camping put on public exhibition

Suma Park Dam. Photo: HEIDI CAMERY
Suma Park Dam. Photo: HEIDI CAMERY

CAMPING at Gosling Creek is back on the agenda, but Suma Park Dam has been ruled out for recreational activities.

Orange City Council has voted to put two proposals for camping on public exhibition.

One would involve camping on the southern side, using facilities on the northern side. 

The other would entail camping on the northern side within a designated area – it would only be available at times the council agreed would not conflict with events or other activities.

If passed, RV parking would be permitted within established car parks.

Meanwhile, non-powered boating and fishing have been proposed for Spring Creek Dam, however no land ot water-based activity would be allowed at Suma Park. 

Deputy mayor Sam Romano had been frustrated camping had been part of a management plan for the reserve and was pleased it was being looked at again. 

“It’s great, I don’t know why it was left off before,” he said.

Cr Romano wanted to see a shower facility built alongside the toilets at Gosling Creek to benefit the campers.

He had previously wanted to include Suma Park, but said after a site inspection, believed it might not be appropriate for camping.

“It has very steep sides, there’s no places for camping, but I would be in favour of fishing,” he said. 

Councillor Stephen Nugent preferred Suma Park be opened over Spring Creek due to the protected birdlife using the creek.

“I realise that’s our primary water source but I also understand boating happens on Chifley Dam, which is Bathurst’s primary water source,” he said. 

Councillor Joanne McRae said the cost of installing facilities also needed to be considered. 

“We keep seeming to compare ourselves to Bathurst and while it might be fantastic for Bathurst to have skiing and swimming and recreational activities on their water supply, it doesn’t mean that Orange needs to,” she said. 

“I think we need to make decisions based on our community’s best interests.”

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