Home Australia Birdsville Races outcry as council bans below-coast camping tradition

Birdsville Races outcry as council bans below-coast camping tradition

Birdsville Races outcry as council bans below-coast camping tradition

For many years, pilots possess camped below the wings of their planes on the Birdsville airstrip over the weekend of the city’s iconic outback races match.

Key aspects:

  • The Diamantina Shire Council has banned camping below plane wings at the 2021 Birdsville Races
  • The council says security stipulations have not modified, however it with out a doubt has turn into “more risk-averse”
  • The owner of Birdsville Resort has written to the council asking it to rethink the ban

It’s a tradition that goes hand in hand with the Birdsville Races expertise.

Early Newspaper

Nevertheless this year, the Diamantina Shire Council has banned the observe, citing security regulations and costs concerned with complying with them.

“Share of the manufacture-up of the races is folk flying in and camping below the wings,” the owner of the Birdsville Resort, Courtney Ellis, acknowledged.

“It’s a characteristic of it.

Aerial view of dozens of light planes lined up on the red dirt.

The Diamantina Shire Council says the preference of non-public planes flying to the races has dropped these days, from just a few hundred to utterly 68 in 2019.(

Supplied: Birdsville Races


The council’s chief govt officer, Leon Indulge in, acknowledged the council had to appear at for a “particular match zone” from the Civil Aviation Security Authority in give away to enable the below-coast camping.

He acknowledged the safety stipulations had no longer modified, however the council had turn into “more risk-averse”.

He acknowledged complying with security regulations came at “appreciable get” to the council, which paid for air traffic maintain watch over, marshalling, 24-hour security, cleansing facilities and rubbish companies.

In 2019, the council engaged Platinum Aviation Consulting at a get of $55,243 to make those companies.

“For the 2019 races, that might possibly possess come at a obtain lack of about $30,000,” Mr Indulge in acknowledged.

Aerial view of tents and campervans on the grass.

The local council says there are diversified free camping suggestions for racegoers.(

Supplied: Birdsville Races


Pilots and punters outraged

Madden over the ban is growing.

A petition by the Aircraft and Householders and Pilots Association of Australia demanding the ban’s reversal has garnered higher than 2,500 signatures in six days.

Mr Ellis acknowledged he had furthermore written to the council, urging it to rethink the ban.

He acknowledged it was odd to manufacture the decision this year, when pastime in the Birdsville Races was seemingly to surge after a year of no outback occasions in 2020.

“I’ve had calls from those that had been driving out, who’ve got nothing to assemble with airplanes, who are a limited bit pissed off about it.”

Mr Ellis rejected the council’s explanation about security concerns.

“There’s never been, as a ways as I am conscious, an attach with folk camping below the wings,” he acknowledged.

An aerial view of jockeys in colourful jerseys racing horses around the dirt racecourse at the Birdsville races.

The Birdsville Races is anticipated to be a hit with travellers this year, after no outback occasions had been held in 2020.(

Supplied: Birdsville Races


Council affords free camping sites

Some locals possess suggested the ban is a cash-making method, designed to push folk into paid accommodation, in conjunction with an location known as Tent City.

The Diamantina Shire Council has brushed aside the yell.

It acknowledged whereas the races brought income to the city’s companies, the council operated the match at a loss.

Diamantina Shire Mayor Robbie Dare acknowledged whereas the council purchased $10,000 price for Tent City, it had to make shower and loo facilities at a get of $14,000.

Cr Dare acknowledged travellers had been welcome to camp on the city traditional and the council was furthermore wanting into environment aside a camping location on the football discipline.

Mr Ellis, on the other hand, acknowledged that recommendation was impractical.

“[It’s] a really just accurate location, however it with out a doubt’s to the east of the city. You cannot stroll that a ways with all of your gear.”

Birdsville Races outcry as council bans below-coast camping tradition