How to book free Gladstone region island getaway

GLADSTONE Regional Council has waived camping fees at Harbour Island campgrounds in an effort to entice travellers back to the region following COVID-19.

Council made the decision to temporarily close all campgrounds it managed on July 10, doing so in order to adhere to the public health direction issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Having reopened them on July 28, Council voted to waive the nightly fee for campgrounds located on Facing Island at The Oaks and on Curtis Island at South End during the general meeting today.

Councillor Goodluck sought clarification regarding the fact Council did not have to implement COVID-Safe protocol on free campgrounds.

"I am just trying to understand why it is that if we waive the fees that all of a sudden we've got a get-out-of-jail free card so to speak," Cr Goodluck said.

"I just want to be assured that we have still got the necessary precautions in place."

The general manager of Finance, Governance and Risk Mark Holmes reassured Cr Goodluck that GRC was well on its way to making sure it had practices in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"The determination we received from Queensland Health is that where the only shared facility is a public toilet then, provided that it is free, we don't need to implement COVID-Safe protocol," Mr Holmes said.

Mayor Matt Burnett said due to the island campgrounds being free, they fall in a different category which is exempt from such protocol having to be observed.

"It is up to the community to be responsible for what they do in these free campgrounds," Cr Burnett said

Currently the 16 per cent commission retained by Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd. as a booking fee equates to between $1200 and $2000 per annum, dependant on the number of bookings taken per financial year.

The waiver of fees with respect to Island Campgrounds would be an income reduction of approximately $7,500 per annum.