Park res­i­dents fear be­ing squeezed out

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Res­i­dents of Au­gusta’s Turner Car­a­van Park are dust­ing them­selves off to con­test an­other planned Shire re­de­vel­op­ment.

Res­i­dents who op­posed a sim­i­lar move more than eight years ago met to dis­cuss a bat­tle plan ear­lier this month, with the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River coun­cil likely to de­bate the re­de­vel­op­ment next week at a meet­ing in Au­gusta.

Cam­paigner Donna Smith, whose 86-year-old fa­ther is a per­ma­nent res­i­dent of the car­a­van park, said de­spite changes to the pre­vi­ous re­de­vel­op­ment plan, long-term el­derly res­i­dents were still get­ting squeezed out.

The Shire wants to de­velop sev­eral chalets to im­prove the tourism of­fer­ing for the pic­turesque site.

How­ever, Ms Smith said it was un­fair to res­i­dents so much longterm un­cer­tainty sur­rounded the project.

The re­de­vel­op­ment plan has in­volved mul­ti­ple con­sul­tants dur­ing the past decade and a pre- vi­ous vi­sion for the site was put on the back­burner not long af­ter re­cently re­tired Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Ever­shed first moved to the re­gion.

Act­ing Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Dale Put­land said more than 2000 car­a­van park users had been emailed to com­ment on the pro­posal, slated for Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing.

“This will be a coun­cil de­ci­sion and is yet to be de­ter­mined, but there was pre­vi­ously a (com­pen­sa­tion) of­fer put on the ta­ble that at the time was not ac­cepted by those re­main­ing res­i­dents,” Dr Put­land said. “The Shire has worked on de­vel­op­ing a con­cept master­plan that has con­sid­ered the needs of all users of the park, in­clud­ing its res­i­dents, and has made pro­vi­sion to pro­vide al­ter­na­tive sites within the park to ac­com­mo­date a num­ber of those users who wish to re­main within the park.”

Ms Smith ques­tioned the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of the project and whether it was worth up­set­ting long-term ten­ants who had in­vested in fixed home sites.

But Dr Put­land said the pro­posal had fi­nan­cial im­pe­tus.

“The Shire has en­gaged in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tancy In­no­viv Park Ser­vices to de­velop a busi­ness plan that sup­ports the vi­a­bil­ity of the con­cept master­plan,” he told the Times.

The Times un­der­stands six res­i­dents would need to re­lo­cate to make way for three pro­posed chalets on the fore­shore.

Ms Smith said the land was vested to Au­gusta by pi­o­neer James Turner be­fore the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River lo­cal govern­ment was formed.

Pic­ture: Derek Pool

Re­de­vel­op­ment plans for Turner Car­a­van Park have some ten­ants upset.

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