Proston may soon have a free overnight camping area after the newly formed Proston Community Round Table group gave the idea a thumbs up on Wednesday night.
The overnight camping area would be located on a vacant, Council-owned block at the end of Railway Park in Rodney Street, diagonally opposite the Golden Spurs Hotel.
The site would have its boundary marked by a row of trees, and signs which would be erected on both sides of town and at the top of Rodney Street would direct visitors to it.
The site might be further enhanced in the future if it generated enough visitors to warrant more facilities.
Cr Kathy Duff, who has been acting as a Council representative on the Round Table group, said members believed having a free overnight camping area in the town could help revitalise Proston’s CBD.
At present, large numbers of caravanners bypass Proston – either going to the Lake Boondooma Tourist Park, or taking a shortcut from the Durong-Mundubbera Road to the Bunya Highway via connecting roads – because the town’s CBD is not on the main road.
“At the moment there is no big incentive for them to stop,” Cr Duff said.
“But we think that if we made a free overnight camping spot available close to the CBD, this could encourage some caravanners to drive off the Wondai-Proston Road down Rodney Street and into the town.
“And if they stayed overnight, they’d probably spend some money in the town, too.”
Similar free overnight camping areas at Nanango’s Tipperary Flats, Wooroolin, Wondai, Murgon, Stuart River and Kumbia already attract a steady flow of overnight visitors throughout the year.
Last year the Murgon Business and Development Association claimed a free camping area located close to Murgon’s CBD generated at least $6000 worth of business for local traders in one week.
They determined this by counting up receipts from local purchases that camping ground users dropped into a special box set up for the purpose.