End of an era for Toowacka campsite

Full of memories: Toowacka campsite chairman Graham Gath has been overseeing the site for more than 20 years. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Full of memories: Toowacka campsite chairman Graham Gath has been overseeing the site for more than 20 years. Photo: Sarah Makse.

After more than 20 years, the dedicated Toowacka Campsite committee has decided to hang up their hats and pass on the community facility.

Located about 9km from the town centre, the Toowacka Campsite was established by the Esperance Lions Club and has been hosting adventurers since 1987.

Many Girl Guide and Scout Troops from Esperance and surrounding regions have set up camp within its walls, enjoying the isolation and bush setting.

Committee chairman Graham Gath said with the committee down to two members and his time spread thin between volunteer groups, it was time to step back.

"The Lion's Club have put a lot of work into many years ago and it was appreciated many years ago, it is a valuable community resource but it has just aged. I think it was a significant achievement for the area to have it built because it is quite an impressive facility in its own way," he said.

"It would be good if a community group did step forward and put the time and effort into it needed to bring it back up to scratch, others before me put a lot of work into it and it would be a shame for it to just go."

Mr Gath said despite holding rich memories for locals, the camp had not seen as many visitors in recent years and the property was too large for the small committee to maintain.

"It was quite vibrant in those days we had lots of people helping, holding busy bees but everyone gets busier and things have just slowly changed," he said.

"It has been a bit of a balancing act for a number of years now, there is a major refurbishment that is needed out there which is totally beyond us."

After approaching several groups to take over the camp with no luck, Mr Gath decided to pass the site back to the shire.

The council voted unanimously on February 25, to advertise expression of interests for the site.

During the ordinary council meeting Cr Steve McMullen noted the site's potential to be used by future community groups.

"Let's see if there are any great local community groups who want to take on the challenge and revive the Toowacka campsite," he said.