One of Bunbury’s overnight rest areas closed, another moved as part of trial

Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times

Halfway through the City of Bunbury’s two-year trial of overnight rest areas, one location will be closed and another moved.

In a bid to provide budget-friendly camping accommodation near the CBD, the City opened up the carparks at Wyalup-Rocky Point, Ocean Drive at Scott Street and at Maidens Reserve.

Travellers in self-contained recreational vehicles are able to stay for a maximum of 48 hours in the locations, if they obtain a permit from the Visitors Centre.

But after a 12-month review, Bunbury city councillors on Tuesday voted to close the rest area at Maidens Reserve and relocate the one at Scott Street for the second year of the trial.

The isolated location of Maidens Reserve and lack of use were cited as reasons for its closure in the review, with reports of anti-social behaviour also raised at last week’s briefing.

The recommendation to relocate the Scott Street area came after community feedback revealed a number of concerns regarding the encroachment of campers on parking, footpaths and amenities at the beach.

Travellers will instead now be able to camp in front of the basketball courts on Ocean Drive, opposite the Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club.

The review reported the majority of letter-box survey respondents supported the trial becoming a permanent feature and Mr Brennan said it had brought additional money into the local economy.

“The positive feedback from users supports the fact that most users are very satisfied with the fact the City offers free parking,” he said.

“It is also clear that these travellers would not stop at Bunbury if free overnight parking was not available.”

Community surveys indicated more than $250,000 was spent during last year, which Mr Brennan said equated to $7 being returned to the community for every dollar the City had invested.

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