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Waroona Faces Road Damage Issues from Popular DBCA-Run Campground

The Shire of Waroona is dealing with significant road damage caused by heavy traffic to Martin’s Tank Campground, managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). Located along the western shores of Lake Clifton, this campground draws thousands of visitors annually, placing a heavy burden on Preston Beach Road North.

Preston Beach Road North, originally designed for minimal use by four local residents, now sees over 300 vehicles daily during peak camping season. The increased traffic has left the road riddled with potholes, thick dust, and sand traps, posing challenges for both campers and residents.

The Shire of Waroona has repeatedly sought funding from the DBCA and the State Government for road upgrades, but their requests have been declined. Despite the 2024-25 State Budget allocating AU$900,000 to expand Martin’s Tank Campground, no funds have been earmarked for road improvements, according to the Harvey-Waroona Reporter.

A DBCA spokesperson noted that the budget will focus on expanding the campground to enhance tourism and benefit the local economy.

Shire chief executive Mark Goodlet believes the DBCA should be responsible for funding the necessary road infrastructure upgrades, likening their responsibility to that of any other developer. 

“We know that the corrugated road is a bone shaking problem for the campers, as well as the long suffering very few residents who live at the end of this road,” Goodlet said.

When the campground was developed, the shire was assured that the traffic impact would be minimal. However, over 90% of the traffic on Preston Beach Road North is now headed to the campground, contradicting these assurances. 

In response, a DBCA spokesperson mentioned that the department has funded the Shire of Waroona for two additional road gradings each financial year, acknowledging the increased traffic since the campground’s introduction.

However, the shire contends that the road often deteriorates within hours of re-grading due to the sheer volume of vehicles. 

“The Shire of Waroona does not have enough of its own sourced revenue to be able to prevent this, nor increase maintenance levels,” said a shire spokesperson, highlighting the financial constraints faced by the council.

The shire also disputes the DBCA’s claim that increasing the campground’s capacity will economically benefit the local community. It argues that most campers are self-contained and typically stock up on supplies before arriving, providing little economic boost to Waroona. 

According to the council, “There is no local economic benefit from the campers as they are largely self-contained or get their fuel and supplies at Mandurah before coming to Martin’s Tank.”

The ongoing tension between the Shire of Waroona and the DBCA highlights a broader issue of balancing tourism with infrastructure sustainability. As Martin’s Tank Campground continues to draw large numbers of visitors, the need for a resolution becomes increasingly urgent. 

Both parties are encouraged to find common ground to ensure the road can accommodate the high volume of traffic without compromising the safety and comfort of both residents and visitors.

This issue also reflects a common challenge faced by rural councils managing the impacts of popular tourist destinations. Similar situations have been observed in other regions where local infrastructure struggles to cope with the demands of increased tourism, underscoring the need for collaborative solutions between local governments and tourism bodies.

The Shire of Waroona continues to advocate for additional funding and support to maintain Preston Beach Road North, emphasizing that sustainable tourism requires investment in essential infrastructure. Without such support, the strain on local roads is likely to persist, potentially deterring visitors and impacting the overall tourism experience.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Waroona Faces Road Damage Issues from Popular DBCA-Run Campground! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/australia/waroona-faces-road-damage-issues-from-popular-dbca-run-campground/