Ray Thompson wants to carry on living at the Keppel Sands Caravan Park and is campaigning against its closure.
Ray Thompson wants to carry on living at the Keppel Sands Caravan Park and is campaigning against its closure. Chris Ison

Sewage may dump on town

FEARS that continuing sewerage problems could force the closure of the council caravan park at Keppel Sands has business owners kicking up a stink.

Bernie Barbler, owner of the Keppel Sands Hotel, where upset residents gathered to organise a protest campaign, said yesterday it would be a huge blow to the small town.

"The pub, the shop, the takeaway - we rely on the caravan park and the tourists it attracts," said Bernie.

He believes there are elements in the council who want to abandon the park because the broken septic sewer is too costly to fix and regular pumping of the waste water and foul water tanks means the park is losing up to $100,000 a year.

"We know that closure is being considered, but if it closes it will ruin lives and wreck businesses," he said.

"Grey nomads come here every winter and there are nine permanent residents.

"The park is generally full in the holiday season and this is a problem that can be solved."

He said the council had been granted $240,000 by the Federal Government to sort out the sewerage problem, but had not spent it.

Retired Rockhampton electrician Ray Thompson, 73, has lived in his son's caravan at the park for the past 18 months and is joining the campaign.

"I don't want to leave. It's a laid back place that suits me fine. It's not five star and there's a bit of a smell at times, but I am happy here," he said.

A Rockhampton Regional Council spokesman said councillors considered a confidential report about "future management arrangements" and asked for a further report.

"This further report was requested as the council recognises the importance of the caravan park to the Keppel Sands community and wanted further options explored with a view to its retention."

The Morning Bulletin understands that officers have reported that the park is not financially viable.

But the new probe will weigh up the finances and the social and economic impacts the park has on the town.

Mr Thompson pays $120 a week plus electricity to stay there.



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