Visiting Danjera Dam? Know the rules before you travel
The Shoalhaven Water Danjera Dam site will be closed during periods of severe fire danger levels. Campers who might already be at the site when a severe fire danger period is declared, will be instructed to leave. Anyone intending to visit the Danjera Dam site are encouraged to have alternative arrangements in place should an evacuation be ordered. Visitors should monitor signage, NSW RFS and Shoalhaven Water websites before visiting.
A gate has been installed to prevent unauthorised vehicle and pedestrian access beyond a certain point.
All vehicles and motorbikes must have a current registration.
All drivers and riders must have a valid driver’s license.
There are restricted areas where camping is not permitted whether in a tent, swag or motor vehicle. Penalty notices will be issued to anyone found camping in restricted areas (including registered owners of all vehicles).
It is also an offence to engage in any activity that damages or interferes with Council Recreation Areas, National Parks or Crown Land both on foot or in a vehicle.
Danjera Dam is regularly patrolled by Police, Rangers and authorised officers who will issue penalty notices to anyone found not following the above rules.
With a strong history of anti-social behaviour within the Danjera Camping Areas please be advised that the area will be patrolled by Shoalhaven City Council Rangers, NSW Police and South Coast Security.
Shoalhaven Water undertook investigations into the sites environmental value, fire risk, and the history of unacceptable behaviour within the camping and picnic areas. In November 2018 Council resolved to adopt recommendations into the Future Directions for the Danjera Dam site. For full details in the consultation and investigation including the outcome report please read the timeline of Discussion Points provided below. Updates on the progress of the site development will be provided on this website as they occur.
Below is a brief background to the Danjera Dam Camping Area:
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:
- Firearm misuse,
- 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.
Discussion points regarding the potential closure of Danjera Dam Camping Area:
Shoalhaven City Council made the decision in October 2017 to temporarily close the Danjera Dam camping area for overnight camping and redevelop the area for day use visitors.
Discussion Points – Update 21 November 2017
Following a Mayoral Minute to the Strategy and Assets Committee meeting of Council 21 November 2017, Council has resolved to delay the closure of the Danjera Camping Grounds pending a further report to Council in 2018.
In a meeting with several representatives of legitimate user groups of the Danjera Dam camping area, a very positive discussion in which the concerns of Council and the concerns of legitimate and well-behaved user groups were aired.
The parties in attendance voiced a commitment and support to assist Council in any attempt to formalise the camping area (including a pay for use process) and also to support regulatory activities to control behaviour in the vicinity.
Additional information was presented to the Mayor and the Director of Shoalhaven Water regarding previous agreements with National Parks and the possible impact on Council’s commitments in this area. Based on these and other discussions that have been had with state government representatives it was felt worthwhile to delay any formal closure of the camping area, particularly over the Christmas period.
This would provide an opportunity for Council to review the additional information made available, communicate further with affected land owners and to more closely assess the effectiveness of additional controls. It will now continue to be opened for the Christmas holidays for families that may have already planned their camping trip.
Shoalhaven Water and Council Ranger services will continue to work with the NSW Police over the peak holiday season in an effort to combat anti-social behaviour in the area.
Discussion Points – Update 27 November 2017
Shoalhaven Water is asking the community to share their stories at Danjera Dam Camp Ground. Provide your feedback, share your story and have a say about the future of this area. Provide your feedback here.
Discussion Points – Update 19 January 2018
Shoalhaven Water has continued partnering with the NSW Police over December and January to provide a presence at the popular Yalwal camping area. Security patrols and Ranger Services presence has also been employed during this time.
Shoalhaven Water is continuing the investigation of options for the site, assessing the range of environmental, safety and access issues. This includes consultation with affected land owners and interested parties. Shoalhaven Water encourages users of the facility to provide feedback and have a say about the future of the area.
The site will remain open for camping until further notice pending an options report to Council in 2018.
Discussion Points – Update 27 March 2018
Shoalhaven Water has monitored the Yalwal camping area over summer period and to provide partnering with agencies. Regular updates have been provided on visitor use of the area.
Yalwal will remain open whilst the full investigation of options is complete. The annual “Clean up Australia day” saw Warren register with 17 other visitors to volunteer their time to clean up the recreational areas. A large box trailer of rubbish was removed with items including mattress, old tents, camping equipment, corrugated metal and a dolls house!
The Easter weekend is expected to see another large number of visitors and ranger services will maintain a presence during that time.
Discussion Points – Update 22 August 2018
Councils Strategy and Assets Committee on 21 August considered a report from Shoalhaven Water on the Danjera Dam site. The report full report can be found at the Strategy & Assets Committee meeting agenda
Users of the Yalwal camping and dam site are encouraged to read the report and provide feedback via the Council “Get involved” facility. Input from the community based on a full understanding of the issues including planning approval, site activity and access, is important to ensure the future strategy of the area. The “Get involved” pages is available here.
Discussion Points – Update 8 November 2018
In August 2018 a Future Directions Report was placed on public exhibition with a copy sent to all stakeholders who had registered interest in the future of the camping area. Public comment was sought on the proposed way forward with the site for further consideration by Council.
Shoalhaven Water has now prepared a report for Council with a background to the future directions report, outline of the responses received and proposed recommendations. Council will receive the report at the 13 November 2018 Ordinary Meeting. A copy of the full report and attachments can be viewed here
Discussion Points - Update 14 November 2018
Council at its meeting last night resolved to adopt the recommendations of the report into the Future Directions for the Danjera Dam site. A copy of the report and resolution can be found at https://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/My-Council/Council-meetings
Shoalhaven Water have also contacted the registered "stakeholders" to provide a background to the report and outcomes. Updates on the progress of the actions resolved by Council will be provided on this website as they occur.