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Groups differ over Brunswick Heads van park meeting

Stella and Spike Dodd hear how their grandfather, Darcey O’meara watered the Norfolk Pines in the Terrace Reserve Caravan Park when he attended Brunswick Heads Primary School. Photo Jeff Dawson

Stella and Spike Dodd hear how their grandfather, Darcey O’meara watered the Norfolk Pines in the Terrace Reserve Caravan Park when he attended Brunswick Heads Primary School. Photo Jeff Dawson

The outcomes of a recent meeting held between stakeholders and NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) over management of the Terrace Reserve caravan park in Brunswick Heads has been described completely differently by progress association and chamber of commerce members.

While perennial activists Patricia Warren and Michele Grant again unloaded on mayor Simon Richardson’s leadership and chairing of the meeting (see letters, page 11), the Brunswick Heads Progress Association (BHPA) have also raised their concerns over how the meeting was run and its outcomes.

Yet Zac Tooth, representing the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, holds a different view. He told Echonetdaily ‘It was a positive for us, though it did get a little hostile at one stage.’

He said, ‘I thought the meeting was well handled by the mayor and was positive.’

Meanwhile BHPA secretary Leigh Rees said the meeting, which media was not invited to, was ‘vague’ and criticised it for a ‘lack of a formal agenda.’

She was also alarmed at the concept plans for the contentious Terrace Reserve caravan park, which contains a historical WWI memorial park planted around 100 years ago.

The NSW government-run NSWCHPT have stated their intention to develop and formalise camping around the Cypress Norfolk Pines, despite them being in poor health and it being opposed by some residents.

Other issues raised from the meeting, says Rees, include, ‘disinterest shown by the Councillors present,’ and ‘NSWCHPT’s land grab, which the mayor sees as inevitable’.

According to Rees, community reps were ‘cherry picked’ and given 36 hours notice for the meeting.

‘It was called to discuss the arborist’s assessment of southern district of Terrace Reserve, the revised plans of management (PoM) concept plans based on the findings of the arborist’s assessment and to walk around the park to ground truth the Revised PoM Concept Plans.’

She said, ‘As the arborist was not present, we had to accept the NSWCHPT representative’s interpretation.’

‘However, it was obvious that their plans to transfer permanent residents to the park was not viable because of potential damage to the root systems of the memorial pines in the Remembrance Park. They are pushing for 24/7 “primitif” camping there. This is still unacceptable because it is a public Remembrance Park.’

Arbitrary setback

‘Although the NSWCHPT representative maintained they would aim for a ten metre setback along the foreshore, Michelle Grant is correct in saying that he added, “In some areas the path will be squeezed to a three metre setback, owing to lack of space or issues with relocation which have yet to be resolved”.’

‘So the 10 metre setback is still arbitrary. They asserted that they would maintain the current pines and replace them when necessary. We were also told a Remembrance garden, seat and plaque to commemorate the WW1 soldiers would be created.

‘The conversations relating to the permanent residents were punctuated with so many “ifs” and “buts” that they became meaningless. Why didn’t NSWCHPT meet with the permanent residents prior to the meeting? Everyone left with a vague understanding that there would be two precincts for permanent residents, one at the entrance to the park on the northern side, and another along the river foreshore, approximately nine cabins, where they are now, but moved back “where possible”.’

And while Rees says that BHPA’s position on the issue is independent to Ms Warren and Grant, she agreed with them over ‘the mayor’s impatience with those who questioned his actions.’

Echonetdaily asked the mayor what were the meeting outcomes and if he was ‘upset with community members who attended the meeting? If so, why?’

He replied, ‘There is little point in responding to [Warren and Grant’s] letters – the language and opinion is so biased it is ridiculous.’

‘I believe the meeting was generally cordial and respectful among all bar one participant and all invited members: council staff, councillors, permanent residents, adjoining neighbours, the chamber and progress association representatives were present. NCHP will present a proposed plan of management shortly – it should guarantee more public access along the foreshore than required, permanent residents off the creek banks, the protection of the cypress trees and sorting camping in the southern end of Terrace as practiced currently.’ 

Opposed to genuine community consultation

Yet Rees claims NSWCHPT have been vague, secretive and opposed to genuine community consultation, ‘Unlike the NSW Crown Lands Maritime department which has been transparent in its dealings with community.’

‘The NSW Crown Lands Maritime department has sent the minutes of all meetings to all groups present and made huge adjustments to accommodate community interests. The Crown Lands Holiday Parks should take note and do likewise. We are still in the dark as to what they actually intend.’

Meanwhile Zac Tooth from the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce told Echonetdaily he ‘had a good sense NSWCHPT were responding to community issues, and am happy with how it went.’

When asked if he was concerned about the land transfer issue, he replied, ‘That ship saled a long time ago.’

As for the memorial park, he said he wasn’t concerned about 24/7 camping. ‘What was presented there wasn’t a change to the status quo,’ he said. ‘There will be no permanent additions to that area’, he added.

‘But there is detail around the caravan area to the east is yet to be defined.’

After a 20-year community-led struggle against successive government-run organisations, NSWCHPT were given support of the Greens majority council at the June 22 meeting to proceed with putting plans of management on public exhibition for two other Bruns parks, the Massey Greene and Ferry Reserve. The Greens copped flak from fellow councillors and the community, owing to them acting without independent legal advice.

At the time, mayor Richardson shared the view of conservative councillor Alan Hunter and said there was no point in defending council’s long held position to call on NSWCHPT to produce satisfactory boundaries.

Echonetdaily understands that decision will enable a large transfer of land from council to state government control.    


2 responses to “Groups differ over Brunswick Heads van park meeting”

  1. Patricia Warren says:

    For those who have been following the land grab by NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust in Brunswick Heads then here is what I consider the update 30.6.17

    TERRACE CARAVAN PARK
    1. Compulsorily Acquired Land: 4,331.2m2 of which 4,013m2 is in the southern area of the WW1 Memorial Pines (Lot 50). The length of Simpson’s Creek foreshore is approx 540m of which 180m is in the along the riverfront south of Nana Street.

    2. NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trusts proposed setbacks from the top of the riverbank divides the foreshore into three areas
    a. 10m setback in front of the tourist cabins
    b. area where 9 long term tenants are on the waterfront will have a varying setback from 10m to 3m
    c. southern area will have a 7m setback

    3. The makeup of the setback is unknown .Where is the operational boundary and where is the buffer zone within each of these setbacks….e.g. a 3m setback puts the operational boundary on the top of the riverbank…see LGA on setbacks. Is the 10m setback made up of 7m + 3m for buffer from the top of the riverbank and is the 7m setback made up of 4m +3m for the buffer from the top of the riverbank.

    Note the use of the terms in the legislation ‘any other boundary’. The 3m buffer zone is within the operational area of the caravan park?

    The legislation reads:
    s89 (1) A dwelling site or camp site must not be located closer than 10metres to a public road or 3 metres to any other boundary of the caravan park or camping ground unless the approval for the caravan park or camping ground so allows.
    s 90 Use of Buffer Zones: Nothing in this Regulation prevents land within a buffer zone arising from the setbacks required by this Division form being used:
    (a) for community amenities, access roads, car parking spaces, footpaths or landscaping, or
    (b) for any similar purpose allowed by the approval for the caravan park or camping ground.
    4. Land between the operational boundary and the top of the riverbank is to remain as unfettered public access and outside the operational area of the caravan park.

    4. The southern area is to be given over to 24/7 camping.

    The legislation defines a camp site: means an area of land within a camping ground on which a campervan or tent may be installed or, in the case of a primitive camping ground, on which a campervan, tent or caravan may be installed, and that is designated as a camp site by the approval for the camping ground.

    In context, this means tents and campervans are permitted in the southern area under the heading of ‘camping’.
    Also in context, part of the area already has water and power which would provide a higher yield/site than without power and water. Unknown is what are the ‘structures’ that are going to be in the southern area to facilitate the ‘camping’ and whether or not they are going to be plumbed or otherwise.

    5. Management of the WW1 Memorial Pines
    The arborist’s report is unknown.
    The Trust has 114 GPS cited Coastal Cypress Pines on its records. Groundtruthed in January 2015 was 106 WW1 Memorial Pines. Since then 3 have been removed. The groundtruthing was highly conservative.
    Trees that are planted are not protected under the Threatened and Endangered Species Act. So, the WW1 Memorial Pines are not protected under that Act.
    There is the problem of the regrowth pines, particularly those from Nana Street through to the temporary toilet block. What is their fate under the Trust
    Towards the southern end of the Terrace Reserve there is the continuation of the colony of Threatened and Endangered species. The word ‘colony’ is important under the Act because it references the variety of tree species, including the Coastal Cypress Pines that makes up the colony.

    The Trust’s Environmental Consultant, Idyll Spaces, to the 2010 and 2014 PoM recommended a 5m radius around each pine to protect its critical root system. The Trust has dismissed this figure 30.617 on the grounds that it is an ‘arbitrary figure’.

    An independent botanist has stated that a 5m radius is ‘reasonable’ but with mature trees a larger radius would be needed.

    TOTAL AREA TAKEN by the TRUST in TERRACE
    1. 4,013m2 of Council’s road reserve along the Brunswick Terrace
    2. 318.2m2 Fingal and Terrace road reserve
    3. 1,717m2 of Crown Reserve public open space and recreational area in the area south of Nana Street.
    4. 1050m2 is the area taken by the 7m setback. If the setback is made up of 4m + 3m for a buffer zone, then there is 540m2 within the operational area of the caravan park (3m x 180m in length)
    Minimum land taken = 6,048.2m2 Maximum land taken if the 1,050m2 is included; 7,098.2m2

    FERRY CARAVAN PARK
    1. Compulsorily Acquired Land
    (a) Fins Building, Old Pacific Highway etc = 20,302m2
    (b) Riverside Crescent road reserve 3,124m2 This is made up of 1,400sq of bitumen and 1,724m2 of grassed foreshore area. The Trust will take the 3,124m2 into its operational area

    2. Trust will leave approx 1,595m2 for unfettered public access along the foreshore. This is 7b Coastal Habitat land and is ‘Deferred Matter’ zoning.

    TOTAL LAND TAKEN BY THE TRUST IN FERRY = 23, 426M2

    MASSY GREENE CARAVAN PARK

    1. Lot 7005 of 2,235sqm was transferred from Crown Land Port Facilities and Services to Crown Land General Purpose in Sept 2009.
    2. Compulsorily acquired land along Tweed Street and part of the Old Pacific Highway = 2,758m2
    3. Trust intends to reclaim 1,300m2 of Council’s Tweed Street road reserve.

    Total land to be added to MASSY GREENE caravan park = 6,293m2

    TOTAL OF LAND TAKEN BY THE TRUST (m2)
    MASSY GREENE 6,293
    FERRY 23,426
    TERRACE 6,048 7,098

    TOTAL 35,767 36,817

    What did the public gain/lose?
    1. Foreshore walkway of varying width from Ferry to the Old Tennis Courts
    2. Lost – foreshore parkland at Ferry, Lot 7005 at Massy Greene and the WW1 Memorial Pine Park, itself a foreshore parkland.

  2. patricia warren says:

    For those who have been following the caravan park issue in Brunswick Heads then here is the update in terms of land areas lost to the expansion of the commercial activity of NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust.

    TERRACE CARAVAN PARK
    1. Compulsorily Acquired Land: 4,331.2m2 of which 4,013m2 is in the southern area of the WW1 Memorial Pines (Lot 50). The length of Simpson’s Creek foreshore is approx 540m of which 180m is in the along the riverfront south of Nana Street.

    2. NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trusts proposed setbacks from the top of the riverbank divides the foreshore into three areas
    a. 10m setback in front of the tourist cabins
    b. area where 9 long term tenants are on the waterfront will have a varying setback from 10m to 3m
    c. southern area will have a 7m setback

    3. The makeup of the setback is unknown .Where is the operational boundary and where is the buffer zone within each of these setbacks….e.g. a 3m setback puts the operational boundary on the top of the riverbank…see LGA on setbacks. Is the 10m setback made up of 7m + 3m for buffer from the top of the riverbank and is the 7m setback made up of 4m +3m for the buffer from the top of the riverbank.

    Note the use of the terms in the legislation ‘any other boundary’. The 3m buffer zone is within the operational area of the caravan park?

    The legislation reads:
    s89 (1) A dwelling site or camp site must not be located closer than 10metres to a public road or 3 metres to any other boundary of the caravan park or camping ground unless the approval for the caravan park or camping ground so allows.
    s 90 Use of Buffer Zones: Nothing in this Regulation prevents land within a buffer zone arising from the setbacks required by this Division form being used:
    (a) for community amenities, access roads, car parking spaces, footpaths or landscaping, or
    (b) for any similar purpose allowed by the approval for the caravan park or camping ground.
    4. Land between the operational boundary and the top of the riverbank is to remain as unfettered public access and outside the operational area of the caravan park.

    4. The southern area is to be given over to 24/7 camping.

    The legislation defines a camp site: means an area of land within a camping ground on which a campervan or tent may be installed or, in the case of a primitive camping ground, on which a campervan, tent or caravan may be installed, and that is designated as a camp site by the approval for the camping ground.

    In context, this means tents and campervans are permitted in the southern area under the heading of ‘camping’.
    Also in context, part of the area already has water and power which would provide a higher yield/site than without power and water. Unknown is what are the ‘structures’ that are going to be in the southern area to facilitate the ‘camping’ and whether or not they are going to be plumbed or otherwise.

    5. Management of the WW1 Memorial Pines
    The arborist’s report is unknown.
    The Trust has 114 GPS cited Coastal Cypress Pines on its records. Groundtruthed in January 2015 was 106 WW1 Memorial Pines. Since then 3 have been removed. The groundtruthing was highly conservative.
    Trees that are planted are not protected under the Threatened and Endangered Species Act. So, the WW1 Memorial Pines are not protected under that Act.
    There is the problem of the regrowth pines, particularly those from Nana Street through to the temporary toilet block. What is their fate under the Trust
    Towards the southern end of the Terrace Reserve there is the continuation of the colony of Threatened and Endangered species. The word ‘colony’ is important under the Act because it references the variety of tree species, including the Coastal Cypress Pines that makes up the colony.

    The Trust’s Environmental Consultant, Idyll Spaces, to the 2010 and 2014 PoM recommended a 5m radius around each pine to protect its critical root system. The Trust has dismissed this figure 30.617 on the grounds that it is an ‘arbitrary figure’.

    An independent botanist has stated that a 5m radius is ‘reasonable’ but with mature trees a larger radius would be needed.

    TOTAL AREA TAKEN by the TRUST in TERRACE
    1. 4,013m2 of Council’s road reserve along the Brunswick Terrace
    2. 318.2m2 Fingal and Terrace road reserve
    3. 1,717m2 of Crown Reserve public open space and recreational area in the area south of Nana Street.
    4. 1050m2 is the area taken by the 7m setback. If the setback is made up of 4m + 3m for a buffer zone, then there is 540m2 within the operational area of the caravan park (3m x 180m in length)
    Minimum land taken = 6,048.2m2 Maximum land taken if the 1,050m2 is included; 7,098.2m2

    FERRY CARAVAN PARK
    1. Compulsorily Acquired Land
    (a) Fins Building, Old Pacific Highway etc = 20,302m2 Community supports this included in the caravan park.
    (b) Riverside Crescent road reserve 3,124m2 This is made up of 1,400sq of bitumen and 1,724m2 of grassed foreshore area. The Trust will take the 3,124m2 into its operational area. Community does not support this.

    2. Trust will leave approx 1,595m2 for unfettered public access along the foreshore. This is 7b Coastal Habitat land and is ‘Deferred Matter’ zoning.

    TOTAL LAND TAKEN BY THE TRUST IN FERRY = 23, 426M2

    MASSY GREENE CARAVAN PARK

    1. Lot 7005 of 2,235sqm was transferred from Crown Land Port Facilities and Services to Crown Land General Purpose in Sept 2009.
    2. Compulsorily acquired land along Tweed Street and part of the Old Pacific Highway = 2,758m2
    3. Trust intends to reclaim 1,300m2 of Council’s Tweed Street road reserve.

    Total land to be added to MASSY GREENE caravan park = 6,293m2

    TOTAL OF LAND TAKEN BY THE TRUST (m2)
    MASSY GREENE 6,293
    FERRY 23,426
    TERRACE 6,048 7,098

    TOTAL 35,767 36,817

    What did the public gain/lose?
    1. Foreshore walkway of varying width from Ferry to the Old Tennis Courts
    2. Lost – foreshore parkland at Ferry, Lot 7005 at Massy Greene and the WW1 Memorial Pine Park, itself a foreshore parkland.

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