Central Maitland residents call for no camping in Maitland Park during Groovin the Moo

Some Central Maitland residents have appealed to council to stop Groovin the Moo revellers from camping in Maitland Park during this year’s event.

Residents have recently made representations to Central Ward councillor Brian Burke who said he would like to see “No Camping” signs erected in the park prior to the April 29 event.

GROOVIN: A scene from last year's Groovin the Moo.

GROOVIN: A scene from last year's Groovin the Moo.

Cr Burke said he has received several phone calls from concerned residents and has had three personal visits from residents to his Church Street, Maitland business.

Cr Burke raised the matter during Urgent Business at last week’s council meeting but was told by Mayor Peter Blackmore to “make a simple phone call to council staff.”

Cr Burke said he was waiting for a response from council’s environment and development manager David Simm.

“Residents are not against the event, they just want people attending to know that there are people who live nearby and they should respect their privacy,” Cr Burke said.

“It’s mainly the behaviour of some of these people residents are talking about, for example urinating publicly.”

Fairfax Media reported last year how residents near Maitland Park and Maitland Showground took to social media to express their disgust at the behaviour of some festival goers.

Residents reported public urination and defecation in their streets, in parks and reserves and on their properties.

Another resident reported that people had defecated on her fence.

Many festival goers last year set up makeshift camps at various locations including Maitland Park and residents reported seeing people urinating in the area at all times of the day and night.

Cr Burke said people are not legally allowed to camp in Maitland Park.

“You don’t see people camping at Hope Estate, or Bimbadgen or Roche Estate after a concert in the vineyards,” he said.

“I’m acting on behalf of the residents who said the behaviour of concert goers has become worse and they are asking what council can do about it.

“It’s mainly a toilet issue. No one is against the entertainment but we have to start and address some of this behaviour.”

Cr Burke suggested erecting No Camping signs or hiring security guards to police the area. “This is a great event that brings a lot of people to the city but they have to toe the line.”

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