Rapid Bay Campground reopening pencilled in for mid-September

Rapid Bay Campground reopening pencilled in for mid-September

The popular Rapid Bay Campground may not be open to the public until mid-September, according to the District Council of Yankalilla.

The campground, along with the associated playground and toilet, it has been closed since late March when coronavirus restrictions came into play.

It is a privately-run park on state government Crown land, under a license agreement from the council, which acts as the custodian of the land.

At the council's June meeting, elected members decided to request from the licensee "feedback and a timetable on when the services within the Management Agreement will resume", including the campground's reopening, within 10 days of the request.

The council also requested internal maintenance of the public toilet start again immediately, as the next-closest public toilet is at Delamere.

"Council understands the economic benefit to the region and flow on effects of the park not being open," council chief operations officer Andy Baker said.

An update in the council chief executive's report put to the July council meeting said contact had been made with the licensee.

The toilets have since reopened to the public and regular cleaning is taking place.

As a result a letter from the licensee's solicitor was received containing an update on the park, including a proposed reopening of mid-September.

"The licensee advised they are using their best endeavours to put appropriate compliance mechanisms in place prior to reopening the campground," Mr Baker said.

"They are mindful of their obligations to meet current government requirements to manage social distancing and density requirements."

To meet these requirements, the licensee is making some changes to the operation of the campground, including: an online booking and payment system to move away from the current 'walk in' and 'first in best dressed' principle with cash payments; maximum occupancy from 500 to 300; undertaking a site plan and implementing site markers; and implementing a guest declaration to be completed prior to entering.

"The licensee is not in breach of the license agreement due to the Force Majeure clause coming in to play, as it is quite a unique event, where the SA Government has declared a State of Emergency (Emergency Management (Public Activities No. 3) (COVID-19) Direction 2020) due to the current pandemic, meaning the agreement is suspended until the force majeure event ceases to apply," Mr Baker said.

"Council staff are doing what we can within the terms of the license agreement to resolve the matter and assist the licensee to reopen the park."

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