April 21, 2017
There are fears that the small Victorian town of Barmah could die if one of its two caravan parks to close,
The town is a popular spot for tourists seeking boating and fishing activities along the Murray River, as well as visiting Barmah National Park.
However, Moira Shire chief executive Mark Henderson said the lease of the Barmah Caravan and Camping Park was to expire on June 30 this year, and efforts to find a recommended long-term park operator had failed.
‘‘Because of this, and the cost to ratepayers of future capital investment and tree safety, officers are recommending closure,’’ he said.
However, Mr Henderson added council had not formally considered the future of the park and until it made a final decision he was unable to comment further.
Barmah has one pub and two caravan parks and, with a permanent population of just 180 people, the town is heavily dependent on tourism.
‘‘There’s nothing else in this town. If we don’t have tourism, we have nothing,” local publican John Powell told the Riverine Herald. “If you want people to come up and see it, they need places to camp … if you take 50% of that away, the town would be dead.’’
Mr Powell said the caravan park was full during Easter, Christmas and school holidays, and he described the decision to close the caravan park as ‘‘totally alien’’ to what councils want to do in promoting small towns.
He is now organising an urgent public meeting at the Barmah Hotel on Sunday to try to launch a campaign to save the park.
· Have you stayed at the Barmah Caravan and Camping Park? Does the town need two van parks? Comment below