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28 December, 2020

Locals meet over future of Malanda Caravan Park.

Over 100 Malanda locals unhappy with the decision to lease out the Malanda Caravan Park got to have their say at an open meeting with the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) on Thursday December 17.

By Phil Brandel

Locals show up in force at the Malanda Showground to voice their displeasure at the Malanda caravan park being put up for commercial lease.

Over 100 Malanda locals unhappy with the decision to lease out the Malanda Caravan Park got to have their say at an open meeting with the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) on Thursday December 17.

The meeting was organised after the TRC voted to lease out the caravan Park to a commercial operator at the November council meeting with Mayor Rod Marti saying at the time. “We are not in the caravan park business.”

According to council documents, over the past four years the Malanda Falls Caravan Park incurred an operating cost to the Council of $125,000 per year on average.

At the November meeting TRC Councillor David Clifton said that in the 2019/2020 financial year, the caravan park cost each individual ratepayer $9.34.

“Due to competition regulations, we can’t be successful in running ventures like this,” he said.  

“We need to stop the bleed of money, let’s get a commercial operator to run it and we will continue to own it as a council asset.”

“The community will now get a return from the operator, it’s outrageous to think that ratepayers have been subsidising people’s holidays.”

During last week’s meeting six locals had their chance to get up and speak with a question and answer session at the end.

Most concerns were based around a multi-national company taking over and ruining the park as well as locals wanting the current caretakers Janine and Rob Rielly to be allowed to continue with the great job they’ve been doing.

Greg English’s Great Grandfather James English originally owned the land and donated the caravan park land to the Council about 70 years ago.

 Mr English said the decision by the TRC to off load the park seemed to be a rushed.

“Nobody knew anything about it being on the council’s agenda until the Monday evening and their meeting was on Thursday,” he said.

“There was no wide spread community consultation.

“It’s our town and our community; we live here so surely there needs to be some community consultation.”

Mr English said the local community were worried that if the park goes out to commercial lease, the   wide open spaces would get developed and it would be the ruination of the park.

“Nobody has said a word about the Lake Tinaroo Park being leased out, but everybody is upset about the Malanda Caravan Park being leased out.”

“That just goes to show the passion that people are feeling in this town.”

During the meeting acting mayor, Cr Cardew said “the majority of this council has no appetite to rescind the decision, but we do have an appetite to work with the community to come to a desirable outcome.”

Cr Cardew said he would make sure that the tender documents would be provided to the Malanda Chamber of Commerce for review and comment.

 


 

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