Michele Grant, Foreshore Protection Group
North Coast Holiday Parks’ outrageous claim they weren’t consulted about Byron Council’s proposed new boundaries for Brunswick Heads Crown reserve caravan parks defies belief.
Byron Council and community groups have been trying to negotiate park boundaries with NCHP and Dept of Lands for over 12 years.
Unfortunately NCHP and Dept of Lands’ rigid inflexibility has restricted their ability to negotiate any fair or reasonable outcomes.
NCHP exhibited Plans of Management for the caravan parks in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2010. On every occasion NCHP has sought to maximise encroachment of adjoining road reserve lands and restrict public access along the river foreshore in Terrace and Ferry reserves. Neither BSC nor the community has ever supported this land grab. None of NCHP plans were endorsed by the relevant minister and the parks continue to operate outside their designated legal boundaries, without approved management plans.
From the countless submissions and reports submitted during the exhibition of POMs, the recent land-exchange proposal and the forced acquisition of road reserve lands, NCHP are well aware of council and community preferred outcomes, which have consistently sought to:
i) maintain ferry foreshore and boat ramp for public use
ii) reinstate the legally required foreshore buffer zone in Terrace Park and
iii) move the fence along Terrace Roadway to provide the legally required 10m setback from the roadway to improve access and amenity and provide for road improvements, car parking and bike path
iv) retain Lot 7005 at Massey Greene as part of the marine (boat harbour) precinct for public recreation – instead of a new cabin precinct.
BSC new licence agreement includes over 10,000m2 of additional foreshore lands, including the old Pacific Highway site and ex-Fins building for inclusion within the caravan parks. All three caravan parks are larger under the new licence agreements.
What the licensees don’t include is highly prized foreshore lands, which are to be retained for public use outside the operational area of the caravan parks. This will protect foreshore land from the future privatisation of the caravan parks, and retain public open space along the riverbank for all people – not just caravan park patrons.
There is widespread community support for BSC’s new caravan park boundaries and we urge Minister Page to endorse Council’s new licence agreement as soon as possible and finally end this long-running dispute.