Wristband trial at caravan parks a winner

WARRNAMBOOL City Council (WCC) is likely to extend  entry wristbands for its foreshore caravan parks to next New Year’s Eve after the success of the inaugural program on Tuesday night.

WCC tourism services manager Peter Abbott said the wristbands had been successful in reducing anti-social behaviour by outsiders drawn to the New Year’s Eve parties held by the 4500 people staying in the foreshore parks.

Under the new policy, guests staying at the parks were issued a free wristband, while those not staying at the parks paid a $10 fee.

Mr Abbott said most of the feedback the parks had received from park guests about the new policy had been positive.

He said security contractors removed a few people without wristbands from the parks on Tuesday night but most people without wristbands left when requested.

Mr Abbott said the policy had been introduced following concern expressed by guests about anti-social behaviour by non-guests at the parks on previous New Year’s Eves.

One long-term camper at the Shipwreck Bay Holiday Park, Peter Conheady of Camperdown, said the wristband policy had made the parks a more pleasant place for families than in the past.

Mr Conheady said there had previously been a problem with big groups of teenagers wandering around the parks on New Year’s Eve “yahooing.”

Mr Abbott said the parks realised the opportunity for guests to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends in the parks was one of the reasons people stayed at the parks.

“We are a family-friendly park,” Mr Abbott said.

“But if a party becomes unruly, then the foreshore caravan parks are not the place to come.”

He said the two parks were close to full, with their population of about 4500 comparable to that of many small towns. 

Mr Abbott said attendance at Flagstaff Hill’s New Year’s Eve celebrations was up on last year, with about 1200 patrons.

Fireworks were enjoyed not only by those at Flagstaff Hill but by about 25,000 other people across Warrnambool.

“The fireworks across Lake Pertobe are a real attraction to the town,” he said.

Mr Abbott said Flagstaff Hill had received fantastic feedback about the family-friendly environment.

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