ANNUAL permit holders at Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks, already emotionally charged, were pushed to the brink last week after (false) rumours surfaced that South Gippsland Shire Council’s CEO had resigned, and a council staff member was reported to have been telling leaseholders not to leave.
The Sentinel-Times received a number of calls after shire officers could not give clarification to the issue.
“We’re down at Yanakie and heard that a shire officer was going around telling people not to leave and because of a resignation of someone ‘high up’, all the eviction notices were on hold,” Deidre Nelson said.
“I called up the council to ask what was going on and was told they didn’t know anything and to call the Sentinel-Times because apparently the journalists know more than the staff.
“We were ready to pull our place down and had organised for someone to do the work, and now we don’t know what to do,” she said, her voice cracking.
“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster. It got all of our hopes up,” she said.
Acting CEO Bryan Sword said rumours the CEO had resigned were “factually incorrect”.
He confirmed the CEO was on annual leave, and absent due to a family matter.
He also said there were no council staff “other than the usual caretakers” at the parks and said the compliance and eviction process “remains the same”.
Mr Sword would not go in to detail over the timeframe for evictions, or how the process is proceeding as there were some legal implications.
The council’s lawyers Maddocks are handling the process, including evictions and overdue fees.
“Over the coming weeks we hope to provide more information on the process, but at this time it is not appropriate to comment further,” Mr Sword said.
The next report to council on the financial figures is expected to come to council in August, for the
Master plans for Long Jetty and Yanakie are also being developed.
Mr Sword said the master plan process would give council “better projections on incomes and expenditure” since council would have been operating the parks for a couple of years.
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