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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Some evicted van owners still have a chance

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Designated storage van sites in caravan parks have traditionally been taken up by those who do not want to live as permanent tenants and be bound by the number of calendar days one has to be in residence. Most often these sites are leased and have dwellings on them which can be used by the owner as holiday accommodation.

As a tenant, occupiers of these sites need only be given 90 days notice to vacate. In issuing the Notice to Vacate, management has adhered to the legislative requirements.

The notion that the licenses for Terrace and Massy Greene had expired prior to the issuing of the Notice to Vacate may carry little weight for affected owners with the Department of Fair Trading as there is a 3 month ‘grace’ period during which the license allows the caravan park to continue to operate. But the story is vastly different for those on storage van sites in Ferry. The s68 F2 license, giving approval to operate as a caravan park,j expired 30.6.12 i.e. 3 years ago. The Department of Fair Trading ought to be extremely interested in that point and the subsequent legality of any notice. North Coast Holiday Parks and the New South Wales Crown Holiday Parks Trust are very much aware of the expiration dates on all the caravan parks!

As to what can people do in the immediate time:
1. Put political pressure on the Minister for Crown Lands, Niall Blair to revoke the Plans of Management for all the caravan parks.
2. Pressure Byron Shire Councillors NOT to renew the s68 licenses for Massy Greene and Terrace caravan park. My understanding is that these will be coming up at Council meeting 16 July. Councillors need to be reassured that NCHP/NSWCHPT does not determine the boundaries and conditions of license for the caravan parks. That responsibility lies with the elected Council. Supporting NO renewal of license means that Council is not supporting the POM (development plans) for the caravan parks. Refusing to renew the s68 license has to be put into context. The original license was issued 10 May 2013 as a 12 month ‘interim license’ only pending agreement with Council and North Coast Holiday Parks/North Coast Accommodation Trust on the boundaries for the caravan parks. The latter were intimately involved in the preparation of the POM. No agreement was reached. NCHP and the incoming New South Wales Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) put on the POM in December 2013 and they were approved by Minister Kevin Humphries in June 2014. The abuse of the interim license and its unintended use in the exhibited and now approved POM demands independent scrutiny not simply a ‘review’ by the minister.

The above 2 actions would, I believe, put a halt to any Notice to Vacate storage van sites. And NCHP/NSWCHPT are very much aware of what is at stake with their application for a renewal of license for Massy Greene and Terrace caravan parks.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads


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