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Park management questioned

 

MANAGEMENT of the Yanakie Caravan Park is back under the spotlight.

Former manager Tony Holgate is frustrated by what he claims is poor management by South Gippsland Shire Council.

Council took over the park 18 months ago, with the aim to improve the safety and compliance and ageing infrastructure.

During this time, council claimed it has faced a number of challenges including the location of underground assets, inappropriate electricity cabling, capacity of septic systems, condition and hygiene of water tanks and drinking water, amount of LP gas on site, age of hot water service, condition of onsite private dwellings, condition of vegetation and the proximity of trees to dwellings.

However, Mr Holgate believes council had another motive in mind.

“Council took over the park for one reason only,” Mr Holgate said.

“They thought they could make a whole lot more money than the $100,000 they were receiving annually at the time for rent. This was stated clearly at the time the council took over the park. Council and its councillors were all patting themselves on the back about what a financial windfall the park was going to be for council.”

Mr Holgate said council operated the park with four less cabins and a cottage than previous management in its first season, which would’ve resulted in a significant income drop.

Mr Holgate also pointed out council’s plans to refurbish the playground was still on the backburner.

“All council did was spread $500 worth of woodchips on the ground. Previous management did this on an annual basis as part of normal maintenance. This is not refurbishing the playground,” he said.

“If our lease had been renewed, a new playground costing approximately $90,000 would have been built by now.”

Council said the playground has been identified in the current budget.

Mr Holgate was also outraged by the lack of health and safety maintenance.

“I could go on and on about the mismanagement, from the filthy toilet blocks to the rude and arrogant way they staff talk to their customers,” he said.

“If the annuals are happy with the way council is running the park, why are they leaving in droves?”

A council spokesperson said council understands the takeover of the caravan park has been difficult for annual site holders, especially as there has been an unpopular requirement to bring the caravan park into a compliant and safe condition, however this is unavoidable. 

Meanwhile, Mr Holgate feels his name has been tarnished in the industry.

“The fact is there is no hard evidence because council at no stage expressed any concerns whatsoever about the way the park was being run,” he said.

“Council inspected the park yearly and no adverse comments were ever raised, not once, not ever. Council is simply trying to get itself out of a hole it has dug itself.

Lack of maintenance: from left, former manager of the Yanakie Caravan Park Tony Holgate and Derek Scully claim the caravan park has been mismanaged since it was taken over by South Gippsland Shire Council 18 months ago.

Lack of maintenance: from left, former manager of the Yanakie Caravan Park Tony Holgate and Derek Scully claim the caravan park has been mismanaged since it was taken over by South Gippsland Shire Council 18 months ago.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=15657

Posted by on Jul 28 2015. 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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