Holiday makers travelling north with tents, trailers, Kombi vans, and other forms of recreational vehicles and equipment, have targeted two of Coober Pedy’s Conservation areas for ‘freebie camping sites’, thus turning their noses up at regulatory unpowered sites in Caravan Parks.
Despite no toilet facilities at any of the Conservation sites that are located near residential developments; and residents complaining bitterly about the filth, the council appears to find this level of sanitation acceptable on two sections of DCCP land that both have local CONSERVATION zoning. Is this a zone breach? Where are the signs eg NO CAMPING or CAMPING? (See By-Laws below)
Council reacted with a dramatic blockade recently, in an arguably aggressive ‘campaign’ against long haul truck drivers, banning them from parking in the “wrong zone” whilst drivers accessed toilet and shower facilities.
In contrast ‘illegal’ campers ‘defecating and urinating’ in Conservation zoned creek areas, appear to be getting a green light, with some staying for days on end.
Up to 25 vehicles; vans; trailers and tents per night, with sometimes more than 4 people in some parties, are leaving soiled toilet paper and other garbage a short distance from family homes. On a windy day this paper blows into resident’s yards. “Nothing like having your dog bring that in and chew it up on the lounge room rug,” said one resident.
Locals are pretty much blocked from using the only real off road walking and exercise areas of natural enjoyment in their own neighbourhood because of these ‘squatters’.
Cheeky travellers are now advertising Coober Pedy’s CONSERVATION AREAS as free camping sites online! What about CONSERVATION/CULTURAL AREA signs? (at the very least)
Have a heart council and divert them to a more appropriate zone like the TOWN OVAL. With no football this year campers can access rubbish bins and clean toilets, and stop doing ‘number twos’ in our precious creeks and potentially driving native wildlife out of its natural habitat.
In 2010 Coober Pedy had a similar problem with travellers camping at the Town Entrance and simply doing their number two’s in front of or behind a mural painted by the local school children. Oddly enough there was caravan park 100 metres away with unpowered sites and clean toilets.
If we show them that we have standards, surely they will have to comply or move along.
District Council of Coober Pedy’s Conservation Map (above) and Conservation Zone Objectives below .
SEE ALSO BELOW: Photos of the mess that ‘illegal campers’ have made of at least one of Coober Pedy’s creeks – This is the STANDARD of hygiene that WE ARE BEING FORCED TO ACCEPT, WITHIN OUR OWN TOWN BOUNDARY.
The objectives and principles of development control that follow apply in the Conservation Zone shown on Maps CoP/3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. They are additional to those expressed for the whole of the council area.
Objective 1: A zone that enhances and preserves the natural character, biodiversity including native vegetation, scenic and heritage features of the region.
Objective 2: The conservation of land features of major conservation significance, including areas of biodiversity, natural vegetation and wildlife habitats.
Objective 3: The conservation of the amenity and beauty of the region.
Objective 4: Development should not unduly disturb landforms, vegetation, wildlife and sites of tourist interest.
Objective 5: The protection of the landscape from mining operations, and prospecting and exploring for new resources.
Objective 6: The preservation of the natural landscape and the scenic outlook to enhance the journey to tourist destinations including “The Breakaways” and the “Moon Plain”.
Coober Pedy is situated on the edge of the Stuart Range and consequently enjoys some significant and stunning natural landscapes and landforms. These unique natural landscapes have also featured in a number of movies and are significant tourist destinations. Consequently, the conservation of the region’s unique beauty in an ecologically, culturally and economically sustainable way is vital.
The amount of development within the Zone should be limited, ensure little evidence of human impact and maintain the attractive landscape.
PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL Form of Development
1 Development should not impair the natural scenic features of land contained within the Conservation Zone.
2 Development should only occur where the environmental quality of the region is not endangered.
3 Development should be limited to those that ensure little evidence of human impact and maintain the attractive landscape.
4 The construction of roads, telecommunication facilities and other public services/utilities should not unduly disturb the natural character and unique beauty of the region.
5 No buildings should be erected in the Zone other than:
(a) simple shelters and rainwater storage; and/or
(b) buildings that form alterations or additions to an existing building for its existing use on the existing site providing that the alteration of or addition to represents a reasonable
expansion, where reasonable expansion is deemed to be:
(i) in keeping with the existing use of the land;
(ii) of the same or lesser scale as the existing buildings;
(iii) constructed of materials and colours schemes that blend with the landscape;
(iv) sited and designed to be unobtrusive; and
(v) sited so that excavations for access roads, utilities and buildings are minimised.
6 Development should:
(a) be designed and sited to minimise the impact on the landscape;
(b) be screened to reduce its visual impact,
(c) be sited below hilltops or prominent ridgelines;
(d) not require extensive excavation. Where an area is scarred by excavation the area should be rehabilitated to the prior natural state;
(e) avoid disturbance, unnecessary loss or damage of biodiversity, particularly threatened species and threatened ecological communities;
(f) not give rise to pest plant or disease infestation of areas of native vegetation and increased numbers of cats, dogs and pest animals; and
(g) use locally indigenous species in all landscaping and revegetation programs.
7 Buildings should be designed in such a way and be of such a scale as to be unobtrusive and not detract from the desired natural character of the Zone and, in particular:
(a) buildings should be of a single-storey;
(b) the profile of buildings should be low and the roof lines should complement the natural form of the land; and
(c) the mass of buildings should be minimised by variations in wall and roof lines and by floor plans which complement the contours of the land.
8 The external materials of buildings and structures should have surfaces that are of a low light reflective nature, and compliment the rural character of the Zone.
9 Retaining walls should be designed in such a way that they are a stepped series of low walls constructed of dark, natural-coloured materials and screened by landscaping.
10 Driveways and access tracks should be surfaced with dark materials, and follow the contours of the land to reduce their visual impact and to limit erosion from water run-off.
11 Fences, if required, should be located in such a way as to minimise their visual impact and should be of post and wire or other materials which can be seen through. Obtrusive gateways, particularly of brick or masonry, should not be constructed.
12 Development should not in itself, or in association with other development, create a potential demand for the provision of services at a cost to the community.
13 The alteration of or addition to a premises existing on 22 September 2005 for the continuation of its existing use on the existing site may occur provided the total floor area of the premises does not increase by more than 15 percent.
14 Development should be sited and designed so as to conserve buildings or sites of natural or man-made heritage, especially those listed as State Heritage Places and places on the Local Heritage List, of Aboriginal heritage significance, geological monuments or on the register of the National Estate.
15 All native vegetation should not be cleared.
16 Land should not be divided other than for the re-adjustment of allotment boundaries and where there is no increase in the number of allotments.
17 No development is complying within the Conservation Zone.
18 The following kinds of development including:
(a) the erection, construction, alteration or addition to a building or buildings for any of the following uses; and
(b) change in use of land to the following uses, are non-complying in the Conservation Zone.
19 All kinds of development, other than non-complying development, are assigned as Category 2
Development in the Conservation Zone and accordingly will be subject to public notification requirements.
Source: DCCP Website]
By-law made under the Local Government Act 1999
LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAND BY-LAW 2012
By-law No 3 of 2012
For the management and regulation of the use of and access to all land vested in or under the control of the Council including the prohibition and regulation of particular activities on local government land.
In this by-law, unless the contrary intention appears:
1.3 camp includes setting up a camp, or causing a tent, caravan or motorhome to remain on the land for the purpose of staying overnight, whether or not any person is in attendance or sleeps on the land;
2. Activities Requiring Permission
A person must not without permission on any local government land:
2.9 Camping camp or remain overnight, provided that this clause does not apply to a person where the person camps:
2.9.1 in a caravan or motorhome; and 2.9.2 within 200m of a sign displayed by the Council indicating that camping in a caravan or motorhome is permitted on that land;
Source: DCCP Website
The following photographs were taken on morning and evening walks along Kempe Road, Coober Pedy. At one time locals needing exercise could enjoy the sanctuary atmosphere at the local creek as a peaceful place to go.
The creek is now occupied pretty much full-time by others who appear to have a strong sense of entitlement, and very sadly no self-respect, and no respect for nature. Our extended back yard, for them is just a free place to defecate; throw rubbish and move on.. All photos are welcome.