A ‘little bit of fun’ for those with heart conditions
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It’s been a long wait, but now the Australian Government is finally getting around to making some money from the entertainment industry.
The Health Department is finally giving some of the world’s largest leisure companies the green light to operate recreational campsites in its national parks.
It’s been more than a decade since the Health Department started to regulate the business of hosting campgrounds in national parks, but a few of the big names in the industry are now getting around the system.
They’re now able to get permission to operate campsites at all seven of the national parks in Western Australia, with the exception of Cairns and Alice Springs.
“We’re very pleased to see that they’ve now moved into some of our national parks,” said Dr Peter Whitehead from the Department of Health.
“It’s just a little bit of a relief that we have some of them.”
Campgrounds in the national park of Kangaroo Island are not allowed to charge tourists, and are not able to provide entertainment.
Campgrounds operated by other operators are allowed to provide recreational amenities such as water and snacks.
Dr Whitehead said the Health Government was making sure the industry would be able to maintain its standards, including the provision of facilities for campers and staff.
“Campers will be able go out on the campgrounds and the amenities they’re entitled to, which will include water and food, and to be able also provide some of their own accommodation,” he said.
“The campsites will be managed by licensed and registered operators, and we’ll be able provide those services.”
Dr Whiteheads campgrounds are also not allowed in some other national parks and reserves.
For those campsites not in national park areas, campsites are allowed at designated recreation areas, and in some reserves.
Dr John Gough, a doctor with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is helping organise the campsite permits in the state parks.
“We have about 600 campsites currently in national and regional parks and the majority are licensed campgrounds,” he told 7.30.
“They are quite popular because they provide recreational facilities, they are quite large, and they are often more comfortable than other campsites.”
The campsite permit process can take up to a month to complete, and Dr Gough said the process could take weeks to process.
Dr Gough says it will take several weeks for campgrounds to issue permits, and he hopes to have some campsites open by early September.
“I would like to see it ready by then, so that people can get up and start camping, and get some quality sleep and some quality food,” he explained.
While the health department does not approve all campsites, Dr Grough said the recreational facilities that are currently allowed will continue to be available.
“If they are not approved by the health authorities, then they’ll be in place, and the operators will be allowed to manage those campsite facilities,” he warned.
The Department of the Environment says recreational camping is a viable option for many Australians.
“Many of our parks and areas are home to a large number of campers who use the facilities for recreational purposes,” Environment Minister John Day said.
In Victoria, the Health Minister says recreational campsite operators will also be able open campgrounds.
“All recreational campers will have the right to be allowed access to campgrounds within designated recreation area, which includes all the facilities and facilities-related items required to ensure safe and enjoyable camping,” he wrote in a statement.
Topics:health,campsites,parks,parliament,parallel-university-west-2250,perth-6000More stories from Victoria
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