VIDEO: Residents concerned about caravan park plan
CALLIOPE resident Brad Henderson is worried his rural lifestyle is about to be taken away.
His home is on the corner of Schilling Lane and the Old Bruce Hwy among bushland and paddocks.
He says a proposed 431-site caravan park will challenge the peace and quiet he moved to Calliope for.
His home is directly opposite the site where East Stowe Parks (WA) have applied to build the new facility, and he is one of about 30 residents who have formally objected to the development.
Town planner Sunill Govind, who is handling the development application on behalf of East Stowe Parks, said the popularity of the historical village at Calliope made this particular site ideal for a new van park.
He said the park was designed to cater for tourists.
"Along the Bruce Hwy there is big demand for short term accommodation from this time of year to September," Mr Govind said.
"We want to give those people a reason and place to stay for a few days and visit Gladstone city, see the historical village. With the mining downturn we have to think of other reasons for people to visit."
June 1 marks the beginning of the grey nomads' 'great migration north', and the free camping sites near Calliope River are popular during the winter months.
But Mr Henderson is afraid a new caravan park would see the existing free camping grounds closed.
"People will just keep going to the next free camping site and not stop here at all," Mr Henderson said.
He's also concerned clearing land for the development would mean losing the natural wildlife.
"Having nature around is why I moved here in the first place," Mr Henderson said.
"I really don't think there will be enough tourists coming through to support another caravan park, especially with the free camping down by the river."
The park has been downsized from about 600 sites from when it was first proposed in 2011.
It's the second time the project has gone out to public consultation, after residents claimed they had not been appropriately notified. Submissions close on June 14.
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