With large-scale development plans by the state government for Brunswick Heads holiday parks and reserves receiving less than positive responses, the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce is remaining neutral, telling The Echo that while some of their suggestions were adopted, not all were.
The Echo previously reported members of the public, mayor Simon Richardson and Greens MLC Jan Barham were outraged over the plans, which were quietly adopted over three weeks ago by the state government.
The plans of management (POM) put on public exhibition late last year by the North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP), and its manager Jim Bolger, attracted widespread criticism for attempting to evict the Buccaneer boat-hire business, close public access, erect fences and cram more cabins into allotments.
The Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce told The Echo it made a ‘lengthy, balanced, comprehensive and carefully considered submission’ on plans of management for the town’s three holiday parks and reserves.’
Chamber president, Peter Wotton, said, ‘We identified the areas that we supported and we also offered a number of suggestions for improvement, complete with alternative layout designs for each of the three parks.’
‘We believe our submission reflected the values and needs of those who work and play in Brunswick Heads and a number of our suggestions were incorporated into the new plans of management.
‘In line with our submission, we are pleased that the Terrace Holiday Park foreshore residents will be able to live in their present location.
Pedestrian access suggestion ignored
‘We suggested that a three-metre foreshore pedestrian access to the north and south of these residences could be created now, and that these paths could be eventually joined up; however, this was not included in the POM.
‘The relocation of the waste bin and southern amenities block to reduce impact on the neighbouring residents, and the kayak launch facility within the park, was part of our submission, and was adopted.
‘We are glad that our suggestions for alternative measures to fencing to improve security and a landscape plan were favourably considered.
‘We did want more of the western zone of Massey Greene to have been allocated for community use. However, our suggestion to allocate some of this land to enable safe pedestrian access from Massey Greene around to the boatharbour was adopted.
‘We are very supportive of our “tents and tinnies” holiday culture that is such an integral part of our “simple pleasures” ethos. As such, we proposed that the new north-eastern facing cabins be moved back from the foreshore into the second row, to allow tent sites on the foreshore, but this wasn’t taken up in the new plan.
‘The new POMs for Ferry Reserve captured some, but not all, of our suggestions to create a holiday park that catered for groups with accessibility needs. We had requested that all four of the new cabins in Ferry Reserve be fully accessible, but this is not to be. However, at least the plans will incorporate accessibility features into the new recreational amenities.
‘With regard to the foreshore parks, our submission, which supported the community’s view that the carpark area at the northern end of the Terrace should be shared with the public and that the playground be retained in its current shady location, was adopted. Further, our proposals for the upgrade of the amenities block in the Terrace Park and for there to be no structured pathway along the Terrace Park foreshore were also included in the POM.
Our suggestions that bubblers and bike racks be included in the parks and also that the local school and preschool be consulted about the design and size of the Banner Park playground were incorporated into the final POM.’
Mr Wotton concluded with, ‘We highly value our low-key “simple pleasures” village lifestyle. We have always been a holiday town and we want to protect it by attracting visitors whose values are aligned with our community values.
‘We will continue to work with the holiday parks in the future to ensure our “simple pleasures” vision is retained, and that the Brunswick Heads holiday parks remain differentiated from other holiday parks up and down the coast.’