Van park is 'neglected'
JOHNNY Turnbull and “rotten” Ronny Bishop are the men to call if you have a maintenance issue at Yeppoon's Beachside Caravan Park.
The two tourist friends from the south, who have building backgrounds, yesterday spoke up about the odd-jobs they did for free because of the “neglect” and lack of maintenance by the park owners, Rockhampton Regional Council.
Council-owned parks generate over a million dollars in revenue each year, according to council's 2009/10 Annual Report.
The men started a petition among park visitors after learning that council allocated up to $35,000 in the 2012/13 budget to revamp the Farnborough North toilet block when it decided not to demolish it due to public backlash.
At the park this week, they showed The Bully around the grounds and pointed out the various things they built and fixed over the 15-plus years they have stayed at the park, and also inside the “deteriorating to no return” amenities blocks.
“Money is going out, but it is not coming in,” Ron said yesterday.
“They (the amenities) are as clean as you would get at any park but it's just neglected. You wouldn't have it at your own home ... this is where we live for three months.”
Cr Glenda Mather was handed the petition and said in a council document that most of the 150 signatories were visitors to the park over many years, in some cases decades, who claimed nothing had been done to warrant the increases to park fees by council.
Cr Mather, who recently visited the park to inspect the blocks, said the severe peeling of paint on the walls was not only unsightly, but could constitute a health hazard.
She said the peeling paint needed urgent attention and the park must have a strict maintenance plan and a future upgrade plan.
“I have been reliably advised that the park managers have been spending their own money to keep up appearances where they can. This is totally unacceptable, and embarrassing.”
“Due to the popularity of the park and its high occupancy rate; we need to consider it as one of our prime assets,” she said.
The Morning Bulletin understands the park managers have spent thousands of dollars of their own money on maintenance as there wasn't any money allocated to the park in the past few council budgets for maintenance.
The park is known for having the second highest occupancy rate in Australia and is fully booked for most of the year, with up to 50 people a day being turned away in the busy summer and winter tourist seasons.
At a council meeting this week Cr Mather said the future of the park should be discussed with the view of extending the northern end to accommodate additional power points.
She said the park had always had a high occupancy rate, and with a large number of visitors having to be turned away, council was restricting its revenue.
“The removal of long grass at the northern end of the park, and extending the clearance to accommodate additional sites, will boost the revenue,” she stated in a letter to CEO Evan Pardon.