A recent meeting between NSW Crown Holiday Park Trust members and residents was both positive and constructive, says Michele Grant from the Foreshore Protection Group.
The Trust operates all three caravan parks and some reserves in Brunswick Heads, and have managed them since a controversial takeover and revenue-shifting from Council in 2006. For years, Brunswick residents and some councillors have been critical of the poor conduct by the government-run corporation.
CEO of NSW Crown Holiday Park Trust, Steve Edmonds, was one of three representatives present, and the meeting, ‘left an air of hopeful expectation’, says Ms Grant.
‘Perhaps at last, some serious attention will be paid to community concerns,’ she says. ‘We believe both the Trust and the minister have been misinformed and/or deliberately misled in relation to park boundaries, public access on “encroached lands” and the use of Ordinance 71 and Council licence agreements.
‘We were able to provide hard evidence to back up our claims. Crown Lands and the Park’s Trust have yet to provide any supportive documentation for the dubious statements made in the plans of management.’
Ms Grant expressed concern about the program for new works currently underway at Terrace Park and Ferry Reserve.
‘Unfortunately “new works” in the parks have a long history of non-compliance – all clearly evident today. There are no negotiations, no “checks and balances” and no avenues for redress. It’s a totally unacceptable situation that was imposed on our community which is afforded to no other developer.
‘Park Management practices and procedures have completely disempowered all stakeholders, and appear to rely on secretive backroom deals by nameless bureaucrats. It’s the opposite of open and transparent. There are no negotiations, no “checks and balances” and no avenues for redress. A totally unacceptable situation imposed on our community that is afforded to no other developer,’ Ms Grant said.
She added that while he option of either Byron Shire Council or the community taking matters to court ‘remains tantalizingly possible’ with new Trustees and a consultative committee ‘there remains that remote chance that someone may attempt to resolve these long standing contentious issues through conciliation and negotiation.’
Ms Grant hopes the process ‘could possibly produce some fair and reasonable outcomes for the community’.
‘Then again, after 17 years challenging and re-educating a revolving army of new appointees, I don’t recommend anyone should hold their breath!’ she said.