Action on van park sale

Published: April 14, 2011

With more and more caravan parks being sold off so the land can be redeveloped, governments and local authorities are finally beginning to act.

Of course, it is our most beautiful and often our most popular coastal parks that are generally targeted by developers, and that means the long-enjoyed ability to stay at some of Australia’s most special places is being denied to us and to future generations.

The trend is nothing less than a clear and present threat to this country’s great caravan and camping tradition.

And it is not just grey nomads and other travellers who are suffering. In many cases permanent residents at parks are also being evicted and effectively left homeless.

In Western Australia, the Government is reportedly considering a plan to buy up some caravan parks to stop them falling into the hands of developers.

Housing Minister Troy Buswell said the Government was looking at bringing forward a review in laws needing “a workable balance between the rights and requirements of residents and the property rights of the people who own the caravan parks”.

He said the Government was canvassing a plan to buy caravan parks and putting in place planning protections requiring them to remain as such.

“The Government would look at using operators to run the parks and look at the mix of accommodation that’s provided, whether that be bays that people can bring park homes to when they’re displaced or a mix of park homes that the Government owns and leases out,” Mr Buswell said.

The idea follows on from the Government’s support of an Opposition motion in Parliament calling for urgent action to help permanent park home residents obtain certainty over their future living arrangements.

Shadow housing minister Mark McGowan said many caravan parks were being sold for redevelopment, potentially leaving thousands of West Australians with nowhere to go.

About 10,000 people lived in caravan parks in WA.

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