The Barwon Coast Committee of Management has released a draft master plan for its caravan and camping parks, outlining a ten-year vision for the future of these popular holiday destinations.
The master plan aims to guide the long-term mix of accommodation types and sites available to ensure a range of accessible camping and visitor experiences. It takes into consideration various pressures such as population growth, aging infrastructure, sea level rise, and the increasing demand for camping opportunities.
The plan covers four sites managed by Barwon Coast: Breamlea Caravan Park, Barwon Heads Caravan Park, Riverview Family Caravan Park, and the Riverside Campground, according to a report by the Bellarine Times.
The draft master plan addresses several key focus areas, including the need for upgrading aging infrastructure and amenities, managing and protecting cultural, heritage, and environmental areas, ensuring a balanced, diverse, and affordable accommodation mix, and improving management and administration to streamline operations and bookings.
It includes the current layout of sites and major features, the future ‘proposed’ layout of sites, and key actions for improvement for each park.
The master plan is guided by seven principles, including supporting connection to the country and protection of cultural values, enhancing environmental values, adapting to climate change impacts, enabling financial return to support coastal management, supporting affordable holiday options, enhancing visitor experience, and responding to market trends and innovative opportunities.
The community consultation period for the draft master plan was open for six weeks, during which the public was invited to provide feedback via an online survey, email, or post.
Information sessions were also held for twelve-month permit holders and the community. Barwon Coast CEO Gary McPike invited the community and campers to provide feedback on the draft master plan, which will be considered in finalizing the master plan.
The final master plan, along with a Community Consultation Report, is expected to be completed and released in late 2023. Community consultation closed on October 2, and the draft master plan could be downloaded from the Barwon Coast website during the consultation period.
The development of the master plan involved six key steps: collating background information and understanding existing conditions, setting policy context and developing a vision and guiding principles, clarifying accommodation types and infrastructure for each park, preparing a draft master plan for public consultation, conducting the public consultation period, and completing the final master plan.
The Barwon Coast Coastal and Marine Management Plan 2020-2025 guides the use and management of the beaches, foreshores, and caravan parks and divides the reserve into six landscape precincts and an accommodation services precinct for the caravan parks and camping grounds.
The Caravan and Camping Parks Master Plan is the first master plan to be developed for the ‘accommodation services precinct’.