The planned eviction of the Brunswick Heads ‘pirate’ boat hire business by North Coast Holiday Parks (Sharks) exposes one of the biggest lies this organisation has been peddling about its proposed developments on the town’s foreshore public land.
NCHP claims local businesses will all benefit from the expansion and development of the town’s three caravan parks, yet, like the pirate, they will put many of them out of business. The pirate, who has operated his family business for 30 years, is being shut down by NCHP and surprise, surprise, their own caravan park just up the road has just started its own boat hire business.
When you look at the just released plans of management from NCHP, it shows that far from assisting many local businesses it will be directly competing against them, and on a very uneven playing field. NCHP’s plans show they intend to upgrade their parks by privatising and fencing off over half the town’s foreshore for their own private use. This is prime public land all tourists and residents have been happily sharing for well over 100 years. Why will tourists continue to visit Brunswick when much of the river, its beautiful walkways and parklands and the walking bridge are fenced off from them?
On NCHP’s new plans for Banner Park (where the pirate operates and children play) is a huge raised decking area exceeding 500sqm. Such an unnecessary and expensive structure looks destined to be a riverside cafe or other commercial site. Claims by NCHP that the pirate is monopolising the riverbank with his one-metre wide ‘plank’ are outrageous considering they are desperately trying to ban all but their paying customers from more than 500m of the riverbank and the majority of the town’s best foreshore parklands.
NCHP has asked for public feedback to their plans – give it to them!
Sean O’Meara, Brunswick Heads