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Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Bruns park managers should be dismissed

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North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP) and the then North Coast Accommodation Trust (NCAT) held Byron Shire Council’s (BSC) licences from August 2012, reaffirmed in 2013, in utter contempt in their preparation of the Plans of Management (POM) for the caravan parks in Brunswick Heads.

Submissions against the exhibited POM boundaries were further held in contempt, a point backed by expert legal opinion from BSC.

Thus, councillors’ refusal to renew the ‘interim’ licences reflects BSC’s consistency on the boundary and conditions of licences August 2012.

NCHP/NSWCHPT (NCAT was replaced in June 2013) usurped BSC’s legislative and regulatory authority when they took the position that POM determine operational boundaries.

That legislative and regulatory power lies with council a fact that is recorded in Hansard, acknowledged by then Minister for Crown Lands and well known to ICAC!

The resolution of 16.7.15 asks that ‘new’ applications be made and that the ‘new’ application has to be consistent with BSC’s formerly determined s68 licences.

The licenses already exist. NCHP/NSWCHPT had refused to adopt them in preparation of the POM.

Now, NCHP/NSWCHPT do not have approval to operate any of the caravan parks. (Ferry’s expired 30.6.12 albeit an application has been made 1.6.15). Any applicant must be ‘competent to lodge’.

This brings into question whether or not NCHP meets any competency test? In August 2012 independent reports gave substantive evidence they were not competent.

This was echoed again in annexure to papers for council’s 16 July 2015 meeting. NCHP has had management of the caravan parks since 2006 and evidence clearly demonstrates its continuing incompetency deserving of dismissal.

Without licenses, NCHP/NSWCHPT are now exposed to a third party taking them to the Land and Environment Court.

In all probability they will endeavour to circumvent this real possibility by meeting with council to ‘negotiate’ s68 licenses because their POM are at risk.

They should put aside any notion of ‘negotiation/compromise’ as this has already been done in the existing s68 licenses reaffirmed yet again 16 July. Those compromises included over 1.2-1.4ha sqm expansion of the total area of the caravan parks .

NCHP/NSWCHPT should come to any meeting with BSC with an apology backed by facts and reasons as to why they have treated council and the community so poorly to date.

They should also now take council’s existing s68 licences August 2012, reaffirmed 9 May 2013 and again 16 July 2015 and prepare POM for the three caravan parks to fit with those boundaries and conditions. This should have been done by any competent management in 2014.

NCHP/NSWCHPT can then explain with facts and reasons, to the responsible portfolio minister why taxpayers monies have been squandered to date by their recalcitrance.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads

 

 


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