Park residents fear being squeezed out
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.
Redevelopment plans for Turner Caravan Park have some tenants upset.