Shoalhaven City Council will limit camping, increase ranger patrols, ban alcohol consumption and monitor activity via CCTV at Danjera Dam.
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On Tuesday night at a council meeting, in a bid to improve safety at the popular Shoalhaven campsite, councillors voted in favour of a recommendation prepared by Shoalhaven Water.
Shoalhaven Water director Carmel Krogh warned councillors of risk-taking behaviour taking place at the campsite, which is based on council-owned land and Crown Land.
Ms Krogh said visitors had driven up an embankment in a four-wheel-drive and down into the dam catchment area. Council has since placed bollards to block drivers from entering the catchment area.
“There are serious risks in not taking action to formalise the use of this site,” Shoalhaven Water warned via its report.
“Large groups of people are currently camping at the site with limited bushfire safety measures in place and no means of providing compliance.
“The dam level currently sits at 58.4 per cent and if further water is required to be released, there will be a heightened increase in risk due to obstructions in the dam and public access into shallow areas.
“Considering the fact that many of the unpleasant behaviour at the site has related to the consumption of alcohol, council could place an alcohol free exclusion upon the council-owned land. This would also be consistent with the feedback desiring a ‘family friendly’ camping area.”
The recommendation below was approved by councillors.
1. Prepare a new planning proposal based on limiting camping to the main camping area adjacent to the dam.
2. Close the camping area in times of “severe” fire danger levels
3. Close the camping area when the dam level is 4 metres below Top Water Level.
4. Provide ranger and other security resources to enforce “no camping” areas and to monitor anti-social behaviour.
5. Classify the council-owned land as a 24-hour “Alcohol Prohibited Area”
6. Install CCTV cameras and warnings at appropriate spots within the council-owned land.
7. Write to the state government and request that they develop a management plan for the Crown Land in this area, including the disused mine areas.
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