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Community & Business

5 June, 2023

Overnight parking trial commences

After years of discussion, letter to the editor, and planning - council have announced that an overnight parking trial will commence this week.

By Andrew Tarry - Local Government Reporter

The trial area for caravan and recreational vehicle (RV) overnight parking is in the Gilgandra Cultural Precinct (GCP). Council is hoping to leverage increased regional travel, as the trial aims “to boost local economic impact and enhance the Gilgandra Region to travellers as a great place to visit, explore and stay”.

All camping options in the district will also now be showcased in a newlydeveloped camping guide. Council have said the trial was developed in line with the objectives of the GCP Strategic Plan, Gilgandra’s Activation Blueprint and Community Strategic Plan, and in collaboration over a number of years, with council’s Economic Development Committee and key stakeholders.

The success of the trial will be measured against the following key objectives:

• Our community positively embraces, advocates and promotes the trial;

• Gilgandra Region profile as a place to visit and stay is lifted;

• There is no negative impact to local residents;

• There is a direct benefit to Gilgandra businesses through increased visitor numbers and associated spend;

• Visitors who utilise the overnight parking area become advocates for the Gilgandra region;

• Gilgandra becomes recognised as an ‘RV friendly town’; and

• There is minimal impact on council’s resources to implement and maintain the overnight parking.

The Gilgandra Region Camping Guide showcases all of the camping and caravanning options available throughout the region. This guide, along with Gilgandra Region Welcome Packs are available at the Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre - adjacent to the trial overnight parking area. Council said “all local businesses are invited to be a part of the welcome packs, as well as the option to be included in promotional add-ons during the booking process.”

With regular data collection, reviews, and consultation with the community, businesses, travellers and council’s Economic Development Committee, the trial will assess the benefits and impacts on region, including economic, visitation, operational, private operators and growth.

Regular review of the trial will also allow council to revise and make changes where needed to ensure the above objectives are being met throughout the activation period. Should the trial be positively embraced by the community, businesses and travellers, the GCP overnight parking will be implemented on a more permanent basis or further expanded. Alternatively, if the trial does not meet the above objectives, it will be reviewed, reduced or concluded.

The trial caters for up to 10 fully selfcontained RV’s or caravans, offering over-night drive-through parking for up to 48 hours. While there are no fees to park, permits are essential via the Gilgandra Region website. RV’s and caravans with a permit must also ensure they plan ahead and ‘leave no trace’ while staying at the overnight.

Located in the GCP between the Gilgandra Museum and Coo-ee Heritage Centre, no facilities will be provided other than parking, it is intended to have minimal impact on local caravan park providers. Promotion in the parking area will also showcase the facilities and services available at all camping and caravanning sites in the region.

“Gilgandra Shire Council welcomes travellers to the GCP Overnight Parking area and Gilgandra Region, and looks forward undertaking this trial over the coming months, engaging with the community, businesses, and travellers throughout the process!”

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