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Holiday hiccup

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council failed to make an impressive return on its investment in caravan parks at Yanakie and Port Welshpool in the past financial year, and will now consider returning the parks to private management.
During 2017-18, council made an operating surplus of $11,742 on the Yanakie park and an operating deficit of $135,621 on the Long Jetty Caravan Park at Port Welshpool.
Council will receive a report at the June 2019 council meeting determining the parks’ futures, including whether council should manage the parks or offer the parks for lease.
Despite the shortfall at Long Jetty, mayor Cr Don Hill told The Star, “Everything in the budget has the ability to end up costing more or less than budgeted for. Overall, the budget is not at risk. We saved money from other areas in the budget in the last 12 months.”
Cr Alyson Skinner supported council’s decision at last Wednesday’s council meeting to rescind a resolution to establish a caravan and camping park committee. She said the committee had met several times, but believed council’s private discussions should be open to the public.
“A better way forward, I think, is to have these discussions in open council and work towards looking at options for the third party management model or direct management,” she said.
During 2017-18, Yanakie Caravan Park earned income of $617,404, above budget of $424,715, due to more overnight and short stay visits.
However expenditure of $605,632 was higher than the budget of $525,393 due to extra costs incurred by having more visitors.
At Long Jetty Caravan Park in 2017-18, income of $285,746 was lower than the $315,674 budgeted. Operational expenditure of $421,367 was lower than the budget of $462,857.
Regarding Yanakie, the council report stated, “The loss of annual site holders through attrition of non-compliant vans and making the park compliant with the access provisions of the guidelines was predicted to adversely affect revenue in the short term. The loss of this income is now being substituted by short stay visitation.
“Expenditure was higher than budgeted primarily due to operational costs to support the increased patronage at the park. Increased costs included cleaning, administration and water supply.”
All major capital works at both parks have been placed on hold until council considers what capital investment should be made at the parks.
“Overall the Yanakie Caravan Park is trending in the right direction. It is anticipated that income can be increased in forward years by completing the park improvements, increasing marketing activities and by attracting a small number of compliant annual site holders to increase base recurrent revenues,” the report stated.
The report stated the parks were previously mainly occupied by annual site holders and offered limited short stay accommodation.
“The majority of the private caravans and annexes were in poor condition with compliance and safety deficiencies. Throughout the lease tenure, a range of private structures were unlawfully erected on Crown land,” the report said.
The report also said the parks were not being managed in accordance with State Government guidelines.
In April 2013, council decided to bring the parks back under direct management.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26798

Posted by on Dec 4 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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