Shoalhaven City Council has made the decision to close the Danjera Dam area for overnight camping and redevelop the area for day use visitors. This decision follows extensive investigations into the site’s environmental value, fire risk, and the history of unacceptable social behaviour.
A number of studies have been undertaken over the last few years in an attempt to allow for the continuation of the existing use of the land and enable a future upgrade to the camping and day use/picnic areas. Whilst camping has occurred at the site for many years, this use has never been formalised via development consent. The investigations found that Danjera Dam is surrounded by a Commonwealth and State listed critically Endangered Ecological Community.
The attempt to formalise the camping occurring on this site to allow for better management was driven not only from a land use compliance perspective, but also from a safety perspective. The site has been affected by bushfires over the years and bushfire threat is present from all directions. Access to the site is via a single dirt road and there is no mobile phone communication available in or near the camping area. Measures to protect campers in the event of bushfire were investigated, but found not to be viable due to the significant amount of vegetation clearing that would be needed.
For some time now Council has been trying to address anti-social behaviour at the camping area. Serious issues have included:
Trail bike riding and group 4WD activities being undertaken illegally on and around the site,
Vandalism and misuse of facilities,
Unsafe behaviour involving vehicles and alcohol leading to serious injuries, and
Threats to campers and the adjoining landowner.
The Danjera Dam camping area will be temporarily closed to public access from 4 December 2017 for an estimated period of four to six months to allow rehabilitation of the site.