Could Dungog be on the cusp of getting a caravan park?
Dungog Shire Council is calling for Expressions of Interest for the construction and operation of a caravan park and camping ground within the town of Dungog.
Councillors enthusiastically endorsed a Mayoral Minute on the issue at the ordinary council meeting last week.
Mayor John Connors said it would not be an exaggeration to say that he was approached once a month about the issue since coming on to council.
"In recent months, since I've been mayor, I think that's increased to probably once a week," he said.
The council commissioned a report into the feasibility of a caravan park for Dungog in 2014 but the then council found it would not be economically viable.
Cr Connors said much has changed since then.
"COVID-19, the mountain bike facilities on the Dungog Common and the publicising of bike trails within the shire have all increased the number of visitors to Dungog," he told councillors in his Mayoral Minute report.
"With council still grappling with the infrastructure backlog, a commercial arrangement with a private developer/operator would appear the only available possibility.
"Clearly it is not something that this council has the financial ability to embark on but perhaps a means of seeing if there is any real interest in creating a caravan park and camping ground within Dungog town is to call for expressions of interest and see if there are entities or people out there who think it's a good idea, who think it is an economically viable thing to do," he said.
Cr Jan Lyon said she was glad the council was finally looking at this issue as she too had people bringing the issue to her once a week.
"This has been an issue for many residents, especially as they travel around and send me photos of what they see other councils have and what we lack," she said.
"Hopefully we will see a response to this expression of interest."
Cr Riley said the expression of interest was a way to raise the matter for the community to not only to consider council-owned land but private-owned land as well.
The only available camping ground within the town of Dungog is the Dungog Showground which has been unable to provide general camping since February, 2019.
Camping there is only available in conjunction with an event being held on the site.
It is anticipated that showground will have available 17 primitive camping sites in the future.