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Campers outraged by changes at a popular Victorian site


A popular Victorian campsite has upset its regulars by changing its booking system.

From May 1, the Walkerville Foreshore Reserve near Wilsons Promontory will take its bookings through an online, first-come-first-served system.

Previously, campers had been able to reserve their spot for the following summer when they finished their stay.

The change has left some campers – many of whom have been visiting the site for decades – furious they may miss out.

The Chairman of the Walkerville Foreshore Committee, Bill Bray, told 3AW Breakfast he understands their concern, but insisted the change is needed to bring the campsite “into the 21st century”.

“Their nose is out of joint, and we apologise for that,” Mr Bray said.

“All we’re trying to do is open it up to those that have been denied getting access.

“We always have a waiting list.

“It’s not trying to push people out, it’s just making the park more available.”

Mr Bray said the regular visitors had been given plenty of notice.

“We did warn them some months ago,” he said.

“We sent an email to everyone that comes every year to Walkerville, letting them know that this change would come in place.

“It’s not just been forced on them in the last couple of weeks.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Bill Bray

But the campers are furious.

Jim Billings, who’s been going to the site for 38 years, told 3AW Mornings the decision could spell the end for their community.

“It’s catastrophic. There are people who are devastated by this,” Mr Billings said.

“We’re disappointed and angry that we haven’t been consulted, just to explore the possibility working something out.”

Mr Billings said he’s had “robust” discussion with Mr Bray about the decision, and vowed to keep up the fight.

“We’ll continue to agitate in whatever way we can,” he said.

“People are very angry about this.

“We’ll explore ways to let people know it’s not fair.”

Click PLAY to hear Jim’s story