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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Review of council recreational vehicle overnight camping services

The Minister for Local Government released the Statewide Directions Paper - Review of Council Recreational Vehicle Overnight Camping Services on 10 May 2012. The Paper aims to assist councils in understanding how to apply competitive neutrality principles under the National Competition Policy when providing overnight camping sites for self-contained recreational vehicles (RVs). 

Download the review paper (PDF, 849KB)

A fact sheet outlining the key points from the Paper (PDF, 328KB) including frequently asked questions is also available to download.

Background

In 2010-11, the Tasmanian Economic Regulator investigated four complaints lodged by private caravan park operators about councils providing free or low-priced overnight recreational vehicle camping services.

In each case, the Tasmanian Economic Regulator found in favour of the private caravan park owners, as the councils were either not charging at all or not charging the full costs. Therefore, those councils were found to be in breach of their national competition policy and competitive neutrality obligations.

Subsequent to these findings, and in line with a request from councils at a Local Government workshop on the issue in June 2011, the Local Government Division worked with the Local Government Association of Tasmania, and the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and Finance, and Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts (Tourism Tasmania) to review issues surrounding the provision of council-operated self-contained RV camping services.

The Statewide Directions Paper addresses the issues raised at the June meeting and also provides councils with practical tools to help meet their competitive neutrality obligations. Input into the development of the paper was sought from representatives of local government, the Caravan Industry Association of Tasmania, the Caravan and Motorhome Club of Australia, and the Tourism Industry Council. The Tasmanian Economic Regulator also assisted in the development of the decision-making guide and full cost attribution checklist attached to the draft Statewide Directions Paper.

Find out more about the application of competition policy to local government in Tasmania by visiting our publications page (link to http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/lgd/publications).