Aviemore campers 'ripped off'

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:35 27/02/2013
aviemore dam
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
CAMPING SPOT: Lake Aviemore

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A Waitaki camper is unhappy with the service Waimate's council is providing at Briars Gully along the banks at Lake Aviemore.

Waimate District Council manages the east side of the lake where campers pay $300 for a season ticket.

But Renae Beeching says the service is poor with no toilet facilities for three months during the camping season.

"Attempts have been made to contact the council but they don't want to know; our fees are to cover all these costs including rubbish removal.

"Sometimes things get dumped there for a month."

She says she has asked the council to replace a broken toilet with a portable toilet.

"The Christmas rush is gone but for us seasonal campers, we don't stop paying till the day we remove our caravan at the end of the season and the nearest toilet is a good 10-minute drive which is unacceptable when the area has over 15 caravans each paying $300."

She says her family and friends have camped in the same area over a period of years and do not want to go elsewhere.

"We feel we are being ripped off for the amount of money we pay and would expect their facilities to work or a replacement to be in place until they are fixed.

"This is not a new issue and happens every season; I don't think these facilities have withstood a whole camping season to date.

Waimate District Council chief executive Tony Alden said he had not received any complaints from Ms Beeching and invited her to contact him.

Parks and reserves manager Graeme Watts said he believed the council had supplied sufficient toilet facilities over the holiday period.

That included two portable units and a permanent facility, he said.

"When the flooding occurred just after New Year the water supply to the camp was washed out and the majority of campers at Briars Gully moved away from the area; one portable unit remained on site until it was assessed unnecessary.

"The water supply has not been reinstated to date due to high lake levels and water release at Benmore Dam; however, we are negotiating with an engineering contractor to reinstate the water supply to the camp as a matter of urgency."

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- The Timaru Herald

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