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May 12, 2021

What’s going on with the Bruns Housie Shed?

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Th eBrunswick Housie Shed. Photo Jeff Dawson/

The iconic and historic Brunswick Housie Shed is currently being ‘modified’ according to a letter sent yesterday to Brunswick Heads Progress Association by Steve Edmonds, CEO of Reflections Holiday parks who manage the area.

However, the lack of community consultation over work on this heritage Brunswick building has left some people in the community concerned.

‘That is an absolutely classic building that is used by thousands of people for many different things,’ said local Dennis Stevenson who also runs the annual Spirit of Christmas free shop each year.

The Housie Shed, that has been in the park for well over 50 years, is used by a wide range of the community throughout the year including disability groups, for picnics and birthday parties and in general by locals and tourists.

‘Where is the public consultation?’ asks Mr Stevenson.

Cladding being removed

Reflections Holiday Parks operations manager, Jennifer Scott, clarified with The Echo that the Housie Shed is not being demolished.

‘What we are doing is removing the cladding to turn it into a shelter rather than a shed – removing it to make it more light and airy,’ said Ms Scott.

When asked about community consultation due to the fact the removal of the cladding takes away the classic heritage feel of the building she said, ‘I don’t believe we do have to consult – we are not removing the shelter, it is still intact – the shelter is still there.’

Ms Scott said that they had had an engineer there this morning to ensure that the structure was sound with the cladding removed.

Asked if they would be storing the cladding in case they were to replace some walls at a future point in a heritage style Ms Scott confirmed that they would not be.

‘Having it as a shelter rather than a shed will be more inviting for people to want to sit in it particularly with the new playground being installed next year,’ said Ms Scott.

Ms Scott also clarified that Reflections is seeking to engage with ‘stakeholders’ in the future to discuss what will happen at the site. This might be BBQ shelters and other facilities that are needed.

Used by homeless

While there have been a range of issues around the use of the Housie Shed by the homeless Ms Scott said that this was not the motivating factor behind removing all the walls.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Mate. They can replace the picnic tables and benches in the park that are
    totally dilapidated and frankly a bit gross due to neglect. The kids play equipment is also in a state of neglect, if Bangalow can have a new 75k playground then so can Bruns!

  2. The cladding is being removed for the purpose of opening it up to make it unattractive for the homeless. The ongoing homelessness in Brunswick Heads has been of long standing concern. But when the anti-social behaviour of those using the Housie Shed reached the proportions of late, that was enough. Not only were members of the general public fed up but businesses adjoining the Housie Shed had long been subject to ‘behaviour unbecoming’ for some time, particularly during the evenings/night.

    Any ‘modification’ to the Housie Shed, and I’m led to believe it is being considered for Heritage listing, must be very carefully considered including options to modify that may well overcome the problems that have brought Reflections to act in this manner and remove the cladding.

    In fairness, I am aware that Reflections have put considerable time into trying to come to ways of overcoming the issue of the anti-social behaviour and the frustrations that have been incurred. However, I can’t support removing the cladding in what presents as an act of desperation to resolve it. I doubt very, very much if removing the cladding will achieve its mission. I certainly cannot support Reflection’s argument that it is been ‘decladded’ just to open it up to allow more air/light, While that may be a consequence it most definitely is not the primary motive.

    It is sad that the behaviour of a few of the homeless has brought this on. Remember please, we cannot stereo-type all those who are classified as homeless as behaving in a manner that has brought such attention to what has been happening in Banner Park, Torakina and the sandhills south of the surf club..

    There has to be time/room for consultation on what ‘modifications’ might not only achieve mission but also be acceptable to the community and preserve the historical standing of the Housie Shed. Reflections are invited to consider.

  3. What a ridiculous time to take the playground away the week before summer school holidays and not build another one until next year! Again there has been no community consultation about the new playground. The old one was just fine. Most kids honestly just prefer to climb trees or kick a ball around or jump off the bridge.

  4. Don’t they need a DA?

    Is it listed on Council heritage register,

    How bloody ridiculous having a private company owning public land?

  5. Leave the walls on it, it’s a beautiful old shed the way it was for the past 50 years. What a load of bs that stopping the homeless using it isn’t the main factor in removing the old cladding .
    #LeaveBrunswickHousieShedAlone!

  6. The iconic and historic Brunswick Housie Shed is currently being ‘modified’ according to a letter sent yesterday to Brunswick Heads Progress Association by Steve Edmonds, CEO of Reflections Holiday parks who manage the area.

    Kiss it goodbye..

    Reading between the lines…
    This structure is being changed “modified” by us as we see fit, for we are the managers of it..and we can develop it “modify” in any way we see fit…the community will be “consulted”..by that we mean..we will tell you what we will be doing to the structure..but your response..we are not interested in..for we have told you..”consulted”.

    Development by stealth…

  7. Apart from heritage considerations and a lack of understanding regarding “community culture and ownership”, Jenny from Reflections has obviously never “sheltered” in the Housie Shed from a heavy and sudden downfall that actually blows in sideways.

  8. Another classic example of why Reflections Holiday Parks needs to be sacked as Land Managers of nearly all of Brunswicks riverside public park lands. They are a commercial tourist operator who are assessed by the State Government on one thing only – profit.
    Can the author of this article please contact Reflections again and confirm if this situation (where all a towns public land is taken from council and given to a commercial tourist provider) is common in NSW and what are the benefits of this arrangement to our community? Can you also ask Reflections why all the decisions about our towns most cherished parks and historical buildings are being made 700km away in Newcastle by a Board of Directors comprising mainly city based lawyers and marketing people.
    Finally can you confirm the qualifications (both academic and professional) of Jenny Scott who as regional manager of Reflections determines what is best for Brunswick Heads with zero consultation with any local people or organisations including our elected councilors.
    I have asked these questions of Reflections myself and they never bothered to reply so please Echo, put it to Jen Scott and lets see if she really has the skills, qualifications and experience to make such crucial decisions about a towns most prized land and its historic buildings.

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