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April 14, 2021

Plan to reduce holiday van numbers

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Silver Sands Caravan Park.
Silver Sands Caravan Park.

Up to 100 holiday vans could be removed from the Silver Sands Holiday Park at Evans Head under a state government plan.

The majority of vans are owned by families from Casino, Lismore, Kyogle and surrounding areas.

Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett will host a public meeting to address the issue on Thursday, June 19 .

Cr Bennett said most locals had been holidaying at the park for many years and had invested thousands of dollars into their vans.

Under the proposed plan, the number of holiday vans will be reduced in the three precincts of the park to make way for more sites for tourists.

There would be more cabins built for families, people with disabilities and older travellers.

Cr Bennett said the council would be asking the state government to reconsider its decision to force local families from their holiday homes in favour of more tourists.

‘Reasonably priced holiday options for Richmond Valley residents are limited and the council would appreciate the state government reviewing its decision to remove these vans, especially in light of the impact the loss of people visiting Evans Head will have on community events and local businesses,’ Cr Bennett said.

Cr Bennett wants residents from Evans Head, Casino, Kyogle, Lismore and surrounding areas to attend the meeting to voice their concerns.

‘A vast number of these families stay in their vans to attend events such as the Evans Head Ocean Swim and the Malibu Classic, the Great Eastern Fly In, Beef Meets Reef and the Evans Head Fishing Classic,’ Cr Bennett said.

‘If these vans are lost then the numbers for these events would certainly decline.’

The Richmond Valley receives 96,000 visitors annually who stay 352,000 nights in the region and contribute $45 million to the regional economy.

During peak holiday period the park population is between 1500 and 2000 people.

The park is managed by the state government body North Coast Holiday Parks, which has also come under fire for its plans for two of its holiday parks at Brunswick Heads, which residents there say equates to privatisation of the foreshore.

The draft plan is currently on display, with community comments invited until 23 June.

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