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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

New caravan parks board ready to shaft community

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A new board and trust has taken up management of Brunswick Heads Caravan Parks.

Appointed by minister for planning Andrew Stoner in June, the NSW Crown Reserve Holiday Park Trust and Board is now responsible for 23 north coast parks, three south coast and seven inland parks.

The new board will be considering plans of management for all three caravan parks in Brunswick Heads this month before placing the plans on public exhibition, inevitably over the hectic holiday season!

After a decade of contentious dispute over encroached lands, non-compliance, public access and amenity, Byron Council endorsed new caravan park boundaries and conditions in new licence agreements adopted in August 2012.

However, it appears Jim Bolger, now administrator of the NSW Crown Reserve Holiday Park Trust, remains intransigent.

Designed to maximise park profits, the new plans of management ignore the requirements of the new licence agreements and fail to include new boundaries and conditions or address compliance and safety issues.

No properly surveyed maps with accurate land measurements have been provided by the Trust or Crown Lands to date.

Council, the community and the new board will be forced to rely on misleading, inaccurate ‘concept drawings’, rather than properly detailed plans as would be expected of any other developer in assessing POMs.

The Terrace Caravan Park’s plan of management 2010 misrepresented the inter-tidal zone, omitted the legally required setbacks and buffer zones along the riverbank boundary and other caravan park boundaries and failed to clearly identify encroached road reserve lands.

It’s unlikely the new board will bother with a site visit.

Mr Bolger’s Trust has failed to properly consult and negotiate with community stakeholders.

‘Negotiations’ with Byron Shire Council are limited, closed meetings with no community representation, and no minutes or updates available to the public.

No-one in the state land management team is protecting the public interest and both Council and the community can look forward to a good shafting by Crown Lands Department and the new Holiday Park Trust and Board this summer.

Michele Grant, Foreshore Protection Group

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