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Byron Shire
September 16, 2021

Grand plans for Bruns parks are ‘ruthless opportunism’

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The NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) has on exhibition their draft plans of management (PoM) for the Brunswick Heads caravan (and other) parks.

Jim Bolger, general manager of North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP), held an information session on 15 January where he said that the maps showed the licensed boundaries for the caravan parks and that the licence was issued by Byron Council on 10 May 2013.

Mr Bolger avoided answering questions about the circumstances under which those licences and their conditions were granted.

Those licences were interim licences because the caravan parks had been operating on a licence that had expired on 1 July 2012 and a licence was needed for the caravan parks to continue to operate!

They (the licences) applied only to the Terrace and Massey Greene caravan parks. The licence for Ferry caravan park expired on 1 July 2012 (Appendix A in PoM). Approval for a licence to operate is still pending!

As the delegated licensing authority, Council addressed the boundary and setback issues for all the caravan parks and brokered new licence conditions on 9 August 2012.

NCHP was most unhappy. The minister later directed that a meeting be held between Council and representatives from NCHP, Department of Lands, and the Office of the Premier and Cabinet.

The meeting was held on 15 February 2013. At that meeting there were a number of ‘agreed actions and/or future discussion points’. The pertinent ones for both Massey Greene and the Terrace caravan park were:

‘That prior to placing the draft Plan of Management (PoM) for the Caravan Park on exhibition that the NCAT facilitate a meeting with the parties to review the PoM and to agree to the maps used in the PoM, to define the operational boundaries’. (BSC Doc No #E2013/10978)

The ‘facilitating’ meeting was held in October 2013 with mayor Simon Richardson, deputy mayor Basil Cameron and Cr Diane Woods, at which time NCHP laid down the boundaries they would be putting on exhibition.

The PoMs were put on exhibition 23 December 2013 (seven months after that May meeting) by Jim Bolger and these new plans of management have shown just how utterly contemptuous and disrespectful they are of our councillors and their well-considered and voted-on licence conditions for the operational boundaries of our caravan parks.

These licences include a buffer zone setback to function also as the community’s much-coveted pedestrian walkway along the foreshores of Simpson’s Creek to ‘make whole’ the very attractive walking path from Ferry Reserve, past the Fish Co-op around Massey Greene caravan park through Memorial, Banner and Terrace parks and then to stop abruptly 200 metres in from the footbridge entrance to the Terrace caravan park!

This buffer zone setback is to provide the once was, but now missing link, so that the walking track could link up with the beautiful path to Bayside.

But, Mr Bolger is adamant that the exhibited maps show the licensed boundaries.

We, the townsfolk and concerned visitors of Brunswick Heads would like Jim Bolger to come clean as to why the North Cost Holiday Parks draftspersons have neglected to apply Council’s new licensed boundaries to the exhibited ‘concept maps’.

One would have to say that, under the circumstances, it would be remiss (read negligent) of Mr Jim Bolger, as general manager of NCHP, to argue that he was suddenly unaware of Council’s new licensed boundaries.

In context, this apparent amnesia on Mr Bolger’s part, could easily be read by even us mere laypersons as being either incompetent … or opportunistic.

For him to now proclaim that the May 2013 interim licence still stands is just plain dense.

Furthermore, what is now on exhibition for the Ferry caravan park and our reserve is a new PoM.

Council will need to look afresh at the operational boundaries for that caravan park. This new PoM has pre-empted those boundaries.

Sarah Buchanan, Brunswick Heads


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1 COMMENT

  1. Is the General Manager of North Coast Holiday Parks, Jim Bolger spinning the truth?
    Not only has he put on exhibition, boundaries for the caravan parks (read boundaries for development and commercial operation) that are highly suspect, but he has argued on NCHP’s webpage that the May licence is an extension of the 2007-2012 licence and that Byron Shire Council has been operating with legal setbacks and boundaries.
    WRONG Jim! Whilst BSC did give NCHP and extension to the 2007/2012 licence it did not carry forward with it any notion that the boundaries and setbacks were ‘legal’
    In fact BSC recognised its ILLEGAL encroachments in 1988 when it had to address the new 1987 legislation. It has had unsuccessful POM, particularly since the early 2000s to address these ILLEGALITIES in setbacks and encroachments. Those POM were blocked by public servants etc. leaving BSC with unresolved boundary issues. IN spite of all the gallant efforts to resolve the boundary and setback issues in the caravan parks, BSC was subsequently dismissed on highly suspect grounds in 2006 as the Reserve Trust Manager. Thus the HISTORY gives the lie to any pretence that BSC….and now NCHP is operating within legal boundaries and setbacks. Rewriting history and then giving it a political spin in the media takes from any credibility in the exhibited Plans of Management. I can only hope that any advice to any Minister from NCHP can withstand independent scrutiny because the current propaganda and word crafting from this business entity cannot

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