TWO sites around the base of Merredin Peak have been endorsed by Merredin council as 24-48-hour stopover locations for self-contained caravans and motorhomes.
Councillors agreed to the former Merredin Golf Club clubhouse site off Telfer Ave and the Njaki Njaki Reserve off an extension of Benson road being used for short-term tourist free camps.
However, Cr John Flockart suggested council should consider erecting an “honesty box” at each location so visitors who appreciated the stops could make a financial contribution.
“It’s been my experience that people will put money in an honour box but they’ll try and duck out on paying a fee,” he said.
Chief executive officer Greg Powell said providing a short-term parking area for self-contained RVs was the final criteria Merredin needed to meet before it could apply to become an approved RV Friendly Town.
“We only have to provide an area, there’s no obligation to provide facilities because the people who use it are supposed to be self-contained,” he said.
However, shire staff are looking at how toilets at the Njaki Njaki Reserve could be brought back into service, because of the potential to establish Aboriginal cultural tours at the reserve, and the possibility of retaining the toilet block when the former golf clubroom is demolished, he said.
“I did have a concern that travellers (at the former clubhouse site) might get golf balls bouncing off their caravans at 6am but I’m assured that can’t happen,” Mr Powell said.
Westonia has now been granted RV Friendly Town status by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia which has more than 66,000 members and is the largest RV club in the southern hemisphere.
The aim of the CMCA’s RV Friendly Town scheme is to encourage tourists to visit small towns to boost their economy.
In order to qualify for the scheme, towns must meet the needs of RV travellers and satisfy criteria including access to medical facilities, a pharmacy, a dump point, a general shopping area, provision of appropriate parking, vehicle service centre and a visitor information centre.
In return the CMCA provides RV Friendly Town signage and promotes the town in its members’ magazine and on its website.