THE South Gippsland Shire Council is issuing notices to vacate to people occupying sites at the Yanakie and Long Jetty Foreshore caravan parks without a permit.
CEO Tim Tamlin said the Crown Land sites are now being occupied without any permit, so the council will provide the occupants with 30 days to remove their assets.
“Council has been very patient in providing opportunities for people to sign and return their 2015/16 permits,” he said.
Mr Tamlin said the council would also continue to pursue all outstanding permit fees from all Yanakie and Long Jetty Foreshore caravan park customers who have failed to pay, or who have failed to pay in full.
“The time for these people to do the right thing – to sign their permits and pay their fees – has passed.
“By failing to obtain a permit or pay their fees, these people are creating an impediment to the council in its endeavour to make the parks an integral part of the shire’s tourism offering,” Mr Tamlin said.
Since taking over the management of the Yanakie and Long Jetty Foreshore caravan parks in 2014, the council has invested in improvements to the parks.
“Council has offered people occupying sites at the parks who were not substantially in arrears the opportunity to obtain a 12-month permit for 2015/16 on the payment of a fee and subject to certain conditions.
“A number of people have not taken up this opportunity,” Mr Tamlin said.
He said people occupying sites at the parks who are substantially in arrears have not been offered the opportunity to obtain a 12-month permit for 2015/16.
These people will also be receiving notices to vacate.
Mr Tamlin said the council acknowledges that certain people occupying sites at the parks have commenced a proceeding in the Supreme Court relating to their sites.
The council is defending that proceeding.
Mr Tamlin said enquiries regarding the matters outlined above should be directed to the council’s lawyers, Maddocks, on 9258 3555.
“Council will make no further comment in relation to these matters.”
Damian Lindau, speaking on behalf of the affected annual tenants, said yesterday he was not aware of anyone who’d received an eviction letter.
“Assuming the council is going to issue letters of eviction, this comes as both a surprise and is very disappointing as we have been in the process of trying to mediate with the council for many months to negotiate a mutually beneficial outcome for all.
“Our many attempts sit down and discuss the issues surrounding the Annual Permit and fees, both directly and through the legal process, have been ‘stonewalled’ by council.
“Curiously, as recently as February 9, 2016, director of development services Mr Bryan Sword was quoted in a local paper a saying, “council was willing to enter into mediation”.
Mr Landau said the remaining annuals at both Yanakie and Long Jetty Caravan Parks want to stay and want to pay.
“This needs to be under reasonable and fair terms. The terms under which the council want annuals to stay are far from reasonable.
“Amongst several onerous permit conditions, the council require our annuals to have their caravans registered!
“Whilst the council know this is totally impractical and not reasonably possible for annuals to achieve, it is also not a requirement under the regulations set down by the government relating to caravans on Crown Land.
“As the Committee of Management of these parks over the past 20-plus years, the council need to take responsibility.
“They have allowed the parks to develop as they have and need to consider this and come to the table willing to negotiate a reasonable outcome as other Crown Land Committees of Management have in other parts of Victoria.
“They owe this to both the park annuals and to their rate payers.
“What they are doing is simply wrong and if implemented will result in more losses for their ratepayers to bear.
“Another 70 annuals gone from the parks represents hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost income and spending in the shire and will not be easily replaced.
“Unlike the council we remain open to discuss these matters and can be contacted by anyone for further information via email firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Caravan park evictions