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Redland City Council will progress investigations for short stay facilities for self-contained recreational vehicles (RVs) and caravans on Redlands Coast, including the islands, by inviting expressions of interest (EOI) from community and not-for-profit organisations.

Mayor Karen Williams said the move, adopted at this week’s General Meeting, followed finalisation of an Economic Needs Assessment (ENA) which found there was a definite need for, and clear economic benefits from, a short-stay facility for RVs.

The ENA identified a preferred operational model, and 20 potential sites on private and public land.

“The RV traveller market has been identified as one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the last 15 years and we need to ensure our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast caters for the needs of this market,” Cr Williams said.

“These low-cost basic camping grounds are planned for short stays of three to five days for self-contained RVs and caravans.

“While the sites may generally provide base infrastructure it is not required that they include all the services of a caravan park such as toilets, showers, camp kitchen, laundry or kiosk facilities.

“The recommendation is that it be a permanent all-year-round facility, and that Council outsource the operation and management to a not-for-profit or community organisation, preferably one with ‘branding’ to ensure confidence in terms of the standard of visitor experience.

“It’s also important to note that such a facility is not expected to unduly impact on current caravan parks and Council will continue to support and work with existing commercial campground and caravan park operators.”

The ENA estimated there was demand for a facility accommodating between 20 and 25 RVs and caravans.

“The assessment showed that even a small facility could attract an extra 4100 visitors to our region each year, spending an extra $130,000 with our local businesses and tourism operators,” Cr Williams said.

“These flow-on benefits could increase if the facility was managed by a well-known branded not-for-profit or community organisation on a site close to shops, dining and entertainment with good access to the bay, and a curated experience to tourist attractions on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) and the mainland.”

Cr Mark Edwards said the RV concept could involve all the islands if all parameters are met.

“This would need acreage space and the ability to treat sewage appropriately,” he told The Friendly Bay Islander.

Council has developed a fact sheet to assist not-for-profit and community organisations that may be interested in providing suitable short-term stay options.

The timing of the EOI process is subject to resource availability. A report outlining the outcomes of the process will be brought back to a future Council meeting.

• RV’S for our islands?