Cooks Beach, Freycinet National Park. Photo: Grant Dixon

“Reinstatement” of standing camps in Freycinet National Park

The Glamorgan/Spring Bay Council has recently approved a development application for the “reinstatement” of commercial standing camps at Cooks Corner and Bluestone Bay which have been inoperative for almost twenty years. This was opposed by the TNPA on the principle of opposing additional commercial infrastructure in remote locations within national parks. The TNPA provided the following reasons.

New Proposal

The proposal should be assessed by both Council and PWS as a new proposal, not a “reinstatement” of the previous camps. The proposed camps are not replicas of those that existed twenty years ago. In particular, the previous camps did not have showers. The currently proposed camps do. They therefore require much larger tanks for water supply and systems to manage greywater which were not required in the original camps. The toilet facilities are not the same as those at the original camps so these are another new feature.

PWS due process

PWS Standing Camp Policy requires that “new, expanded or modified standing camps” are assessed via the RAA process. According to the DA, PWS has stated that no RAA was required but has not provided any justification for this. This proposal is clearly an expansion or modification of the original camps (see New Proposal above). No copy of the original lease/licence has been provided so there is no evidence of exactly what facilities are covered. The TNPA has written to PWS to raise these and other concerns. We have yet to receive a response but in the absence of a response we consider that the “landowner consent” provided by PWS may be invalid.

Freycinet Master Plan           

Council and PWS are both responsible for implementing the Freycinet Peninsula Master Plan June 2019 which calls for (page xiii) “no further built tourism infrastructure [south of the Hazards]”. At the time the Master Plan was finalised only a few traces remained of the former standing camp at Cooks Corner which had then been unused for more than a decade. This proposal is for the construction of tourism infrastructure additional to that which existed when the Master Plan was finalised. i.e. one of the few restrictions on development in the Master Plan has been ignored.

Share this post