Housing shortage forces camping rules change

Shire of Broome, Western Australia, has made changes to its temporary accommodation policies and will embark on a new four-week trial in response to the current housing shortage and imminent peak dry season period.

The review will include the Shire’s operation of temporary caravan and camping facilities policy and will offer more flexibility to guests and provide support to the caravan park proprietors.

The second policy to be reviewed is the approval to camp for up to three months in areas other than caravan parks and camping grounds.

While Ministerial approval is still required if the period is longer than three months, the Shire’s criteria for application has been eased.

Finally, a temporary four-week trial of overnight camping by travellers in self-contained caravans or recreational vehicles in Cable Beach Surf Club carpark will commence when permanent caravan parks near capacity. 

Shire of Broome deputy president, Councillor Desiree Male said the creation of additional temporary camping or housing options was a positive step.

“The Shire is acutely aware of the lack of housing in Broome and we have acted quickly to make changes to assist visitors to our town.

“We are already seeing large numbers of vehicle-based travellers arrive in Broome and more are expected – these changes will help to accommodate them in the short term.

“The Shire continues to chair monthly housing roundtable meetings with relevant state government bodies and associated agencies, with the purpose of that group to provide longer-term solutions.

 “As a local government, the Shire has a limited role to play in relation to housing, but we want to get on the front foot and be part of the solution to what is a very concerning situation.”