Surely the South Gippsland Shire Council is not even contemplating taking over Waratah Bay Caravan Park when it has made such a financial mess of taking over Long Jetty and Yanakie parks.
I hope the council’s due diligence and Business Plan for Waratah Bay is better than the plan for Yanakie and Long Jetty.
Indeed, after the original Business Plan was presented and accepted by the council in August 2013, further monies are now being spent in 15/16 on new Master Plans for these two parks some 2.5 years after the council took them over. A bit late in the day!
The original plan indicated that after the assets of the caravan parks were purchased, no capital investment would be needed.
Since then $1.3 million has been spent or is about to be spent.
The original plan showed anticipated combined net profits of the two parks rising from $332,797.09 (don’t forget the nine cents!) in 14/15 to $557,778.80 in 17/18.
Council’s high level business radar which had budgeting down to the last cent must have been slightly astray!
Employee costs to run the two parks total $533,185 per annum.
I am sure many caravan park lessees – both present and past – would love to get that income (with super and perhaps a council car thrown in and a nine day fortnight!).
The caravan parks’ figures shown in the council quarterly Financial Performance Reports are always interesting and generally have an error. Note also that if you continually revise budget figures it is easy to say how terrific it is that “budgets are being met”!
Indeed with the mood in the parks – a Supreme Court hearing, site holders’ refusal to pay or site holders exiting – actual income received is believed to be way below budget and Cr James Fawcett is quoted in the media as saying “there is a cash flow problem at the moment”.
Council should leave private enterprise to private enterprise – I don’t care how highly councillors rate their business acumen.
Council should focus on essential services to be provided to ratepayers, then they may be surprised to find how easy it is to stay within the proposed rate caps.
Megan Knight, Foster.