You may have missed it- Lights out for campers as committee ends run (May 16)

CAMPING will end at the Beerwah Sports Ground with the Sunshine Coast Council refusing to take bookings from May 25.
The move to end short-term camping at the grounds comes amid “disappointment and dismay” at the dissolution of the community-run Beerwah Sportsground Management Committee.
The BSMC, established in 1979, formally dissolves this month after years of battling bureaucracy, a shrinking volunteer base and facing the challenges associated with a dedicated, but ageing committee. At the AGM, held earlier this year in March, the ongoing obstacles proved insurmountable, and the decision was made to finally throw in the towel.
Disheartened and disillusioned, committee member Helen Weil confirmed BSMC would surrender the management lease to Council on May 31 and move to individual trustee permits for each of the nine community groups affiliated with the Sportsgrounds.
Community control of the Beerwah Sportgrounds will now be relinquished to Council management from June 1, 2023. The committee have until May 25 to clear out the Sportsground, close down the onsite camping facility and remove the caretaker, ahead of Council takeover of the lease and common areas.
Ongoing restrictions on licence provisions for the ground’s campsite, a main source of income for the committee, contributed to the financial uncertainty of the committee, who understood camping would only cease operating at the end of their lease agreement.
A council spokesperson said it was “considering options for future camping activities”.
“Short term camping, which is managed by the outgoing Beerwah Sports Ground Committee, will cease from May 31, 2023,” he said.
“No additional bookings will be taken from May 25, 2023.
“From June 1, 2023 Council will commence a changeover to individualised tenure arrangements with the former affiliate members of the committee for their specific operational areas. Council will be responsible for managing the parking and common areas at the facility, including the camping site.”
Glasshouse Chamber of Commerce president, Jenny Broderick, said it was a disappointing outcome for the town and its small business traders, especially those in walking distance along Simpson Street.
“The campground is the only accommodation available in Beerwah Town Centre,” Jenny said. “We should be encouraging tourists to be coming here, whether as a destination or stop-over, to use our services and enjoy our amazing local hospitality.
“The problem now is that word gets out to RV groups that we’re closed and even if that changes, the damage has been done.”
BSMC committee member Helen Weil said she understood that the council would proceed with a 12-month camping trial. The council did not comment on whether this was being considered when asked by GC&M News.
“We were told previously that if we continued to operate the campsite, Council would come down hard on us, and by then we were just so over it all,” Helen said.
“We’d fought for so long but now we are tired and worn out – so it was a real stab to hear that camping was not being done away with, but Council was planning to run it themselves.”
Committee member Bruce Page said he felt it was a retrograde step, allowing bureaucrats to manage the Sportgrounds. He voiced his concerns for future decisions made without local community insight and knowledge.
Having been at the inaugural meeting for the community Sportsground committee back in 1979, he said attending the AGM in March, where the decision was made to dissolve the association, was one of the most depressing meetings he had ever attended.
“We’ve been involved for over 40 years, and seen the wonderful progress, community spirit and development of our community asset, which has benefited the region,” Bruce said.
“To think that it is unlikely to continue in this way leaves me feeling disappointed and dismayed.”
Helen said since the committee surrendered the lease, she is now concerned the Trustee Permits are not going to be produced, breaking the promises made earlier at meetings with the affiliates.
“If we hadn’t surrendered the lease it would have been made it hard for us to continue viably, and frankly we are just too old now and worn out. We just feel this is the outcome Council always wanted and its useless for us to resist any more,” said Helen.