Visitors to Whitsunday Regional Council’s free camping areas at Lake Proserpine and Proserpine RV Park are not being forced to fill out contact forms handed out at other accommodation for COVID tracing. Photo: Tourism Whitsunday
Visitors to Whitsunday Regional Council’s free camping areas at Lake Proserpine and Proserpine RV Park are not being forced to fill out contact forms handed out at other accommodation for COVID tracing. Photo: Tourism Whitsunday

Campers not forced to fill out COVID contact forms

TRAVELLERS who park up at free camping areas in the Whitsundays are not being forced to provide their travel and contact details like they would in other accommodation across the region.

Officers visit Whitsunday Regional Council's free camping areas at Lake Proserpine and the Proserpine RV Park every day and record registration details of their vehicles.

However, it was not until recently that a form asking for contact details and information on previous travel was introduced, and it is still not compulsory.

Council community services director Julie Wright said the form was a "second approach" introduced to ensure the region's safety but that it could not be enforced.

The form is dropped off to visitors in the park when officers record their number plate and it is picked up the following day.

 

Proserpine Tourist park manager Shirley Long with Tania Hededus. Mrs Long said all visitors to the region should have to fill out contact forms to ensure community safety. Picture: Jordan Gilliland
Proserpine Tourist park manager Shirley Long with Tania Hededus. Mrs Long said all visitors to the region should have to fill out contact forms to ensure community safety. Picture: Jordan Gilliland

Ms Wright said because of this, officers had no control over whether the forms were signed and returned.

"With the RV Park, because it's free and self-contained, if they choose not to fill in (the form) and leave before we get back, we can't enforce that," she said.

"So what we are going to do is put a drop box in as well so if they do leave they'll drop it in the drop box before we get back there in the morning."

In July, 615 vehicles set up for camping at Proserpine RV Park and Proserpine Lake.

On the busiest day in July, 49 vehicles were set up at Lake Proserpine and 19 were set up at the RV Park.

 

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Proserpine Tourist Park owner Shirley Long said there were strict processes in place for all visitors to her park and argued the same standards should apply at the council's free camping areas.

These measures include recording all the details of travellers as well as thorough cleaning measures.

"I think you need to have contact details for people to know where they've come from and if they're a threat to the community," Mrs Long said.

"If we don't know where they've come from, if there was a community transmission how are they going to track those people?

"If they don't fill it out, they should not be able to stay there, simple as that."


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