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2 February, 2021

Caravan Park lease moves forward

The move to lease out the Malanda Falls Caravan Park and the Lakeside Caravan park at Yungaburra took a step forward at last weeks Tablelands Regional Council meeting.

By Phil Brandel

Expressions of interest are being sought to take over the lease of The Malanda Falls Caravan Park

The move to lease out the Malanda Falls Caravan Park and the Lakeside Caravan park at Yungaburra took a step forward last week as the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) moved a motion to the put the lease for the two caravan parks out to expressions of interest (EOI), with the motion being passed unanimously by the TRC.

Some of the conditions for the lease include a 5 + 5-year lease and no obligations from the council to repair or maintain the buildings or the site, council also suggested a sliding scale subsidy.

The decision to put out an EOI comes after the TRC announced in November it would be putting the Malanda Falls Caravan Park and The Lakeside Caravan park out to commercial lease to try and stop the flow of council funds into the two separate enterprises.

This came as a surprise to locals who asked the council to explain their position while also expressing their opposition for choosing to lease out the Malanda falls park to a commercial interest.

According to council documents, over the past four years the Lakeside Motor Inn and Caravan Park has incurred an average operating cost to the Council of $30,844 per year, losing a total of around $123,000 dollars over the past four years.

While the Malanda Falls Caravan Park had incurred an operating cost to the Council of $125,000 per year on average, with an operating loss of around half a million dollars over the past four years.

During last week’s meeting it was discussed that the EOI was not a tender, but a short list could be put together for the tender process at a later stage.

According to council documents, the officer’s recommendations was "It is in the public interest to invite expressions of interest (EOIs) for the lease of the business, land and buildings comprising of Malanda Falls Caravan Park and Lakeside Motor Inn and Caravan Park, prior to inviting written tenders."

Acting Mayor Kevin Cardew said that his hope was that they could find a local to take over the lease.

“Last week council officers met with Malanda residents and we agreed that an EOI should be put out before moving to the tender stage.

“This way we get test the marketplace and see what sort of feedback and interest we get.

“As the acting Mayor I want to see us keep engaging with the community and if we can enter into some lease arrangement that is less onerous on council then that’s going to be a good thing.

“Hopefully we can get a local to take on the less and reduce the financial burden on council.”

Janette Suffield from the Malanda Chamber of Commerce got up and spoke at the council meeting and said that “The Malanda Chamber of commerce and Malanda community would like to thank the officers and councillors working with the Malanda Falls caravan park project for their willingness to consult and listen to our feedback,” she said.

“We understand that there is a need to put out an expression of intertest to go to the next step.

“We hope that community consultation continues and are views are considered.” 

At the meeting TRC CEO Bob Owen said the EOI was to test the market, and after the EOI had finished council would then decide whether to put it out to tender.


 


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