Freedom camping is going high-tech this summer, as a range of tools are deployed to help manage popular sites.
Artificial intelligence cameras powered by the sun, as well as an upgraded app are among the measures being rolled out.
The cameras will be installed at 10 popular camp sites to monitor capacity. That information will then be filtered into an app in real time so travellers know when a spot is available.
The aim is to make sure the sites don’t get overrun.
The cameras don’t pick up registration numbers or faces but the freedom camping lobby group says simple sensors would be a better option.
“How do you warrant cameras when a less invasive method is available,” said Bob Osborne, founder of the Responsible Campers Association.
Freedom camping and the stresses it puts on the environment and facilities has been a major problem for councils over the past few summers.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said freedom camping was “the big issue” that landed on his plate when he took over the role in 2017. He said there had been a lot of complaints from communities.
The Government has spent about $17 million on trying to fix the problems created by freedom camping. Some of that money has gone towards councils hiring what they call ambassadors to provide advice and collect data.