Council lays down law


Council lays down law

HOLIDAYMAKERS at the Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks will soon be subjected to further action by South Gippsland Shire Council if their caravans are not brought up to standard.

Council expects annual site-holders to be compliant by the end of March.

Council CEO Tim Tamlin told The Star site-holders at the Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks had been informed.

“Council will also be sending final reminder notices for 2015-16 permits to be signed and returned shortly,” he said.

“In both cases council will take further action if site-holders don’t respond to requests within the timeframes outlined.”

Damien Lindau is an annual permit-holder and chairperson for the committee representing Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan park annual site-holders.

He said current legal action may alter council’s timeframes.

“We are in negotiation with council’s solicitors to set a mediation date, which was originally set for early December,” he said.

“Our solicitor hopes it will be as soon as possible, to get a positive outcome for both parties.”

Mr Lindau said council had previously stated it had no intention of kicking annuals out of the parks.

“However, council is making it so hard for annuals to comply they are leaving on their own. The conditions are ridiculously expensive and difficult,” he said.

“These are retired caravans, the majority with annexes attached and draw bars removed. Some of us are looking at up to $15,000 to become compliant,” he said.

Mr Lindau said annuals at both caravan parks were proactively engaged with the council to try to negotiate a more mutually beneficial set of permit conditions and fees.

“Unfortunately early in our discussions with the council they made it very clear they were not willing to negotiate on the key issues of fees and compliance,” he said.

“In an email sent in September 2014 to the committee representing the annuals, acting CEO Anthony Seabrook said ‘these areas are not negotiable’.”

Mr Lindau said the unwillingness to negotiate was further reiterated by council through its solicitors on January 22, 2015.
“Council’s solicitor wrote: ‘our instructions are that unless your clients are prepared to accept the new permit fees established by council and the need for unregisterable movable dwellings to be made registrable and compliant, or else removed, council does not see any point in meeting to discuss the matters raised in correspondence between our offices’.”

Mr Lindau said until the matter between the committee and council has gone before court, he will not be making his van compliant.

“I can’t reasonably do it; the cost will be extraordinary. I have made some changes towards compliance. The van is not registered or towable, but it is removable,” he said.

“I don’t think there is a single van in the park that is registered or genuinely towable.”

Mr Lindau said across the two parks, 100 annuals are already gone and more are preparing to go.

“Yanakie has gone from a park full of people, full of annuals and full of life to one that is dying, which is a real shame,” he said.

“Due to council’s unwillingness to work with annuals to resolve these issues, many annuals from both caravan parks felt little option but to vacate the parks or engage a solicitor.”

Annual at Yanakie Rod Francis said he has “not done a thing” to his caravan in an attempt to become compliant and welcomes court action from council.

“I refuse to do anything because I can’t find anyone who knows what they are talking about. I can’t believe council is not trying harder to negotiate a resolution with the annuals,” he said.

“At the end of the day, if I get the flick, they can take me to court.”

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Posted by on Feb 2 2016. Filed under Featured. 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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