WINGHAM Advancement Group (WAG) opposes Greater Taree City Council’s decision to ban overnight stays at the Wingham Riverside Reserve but is eager to collaborate with council to reach a positive outcome on the matter.
WAG believes the presence of self-contained overnighters at the Wingham Riverside Reserve has resulted in a significant decrease in graffiti, vandalism and antisocial behaviour at the reserve over the past two to three years since they started to visit the area.
For the past two years, three WAG volunteers have greeted visitors in the mornings and evenings and handed out welcome brochures which include contact details for emergency services.
They encouraged the overnight visitors to report incidences of anti-social to the police. The volunteers, as per an agreement with council, also unlocked and locked the toilet facility each day and cleaned them if necessary.
WAG urges council to remove the signs and to allow the continuation of a successful arrangement that it believes has a mutual benefit for concerned in the local community and the Manning Valley.
“The economic benefit to Wingham should not be ignored,” WAG president Allen Valentine said.