Cut the red tape: caravan park delays frustrate ratepayer

Doug Croker is frustrated with the time it is taking to redevelop the Quinns Rocks caravan park.
Doug Croker is frustrated with the time it is taking to redevelop the Quinns Rocks caravan park.

WANNEROO ratepayer Doug Croker is frustrated with bureaucracy holding up redevelopment of the Quinns Rocks caravan park.

The Butler resident said Wanneroo Council started to discuss how to redevelop the site off Quinns Road in Mindarie in 2005 and gave notice to long-term residents who had been living there “without correct approval”.

“Clearing of the park took much longer than expected as residents would leave and then come back as temporary residents,” Mr Croker said.

“This game went on through poor management of the park until 2012 when council passed a resolution to redevelop the caravan park.

“A committee was formed to manage the process (and) consultants were hired to draw up plans and recommend the best way to utilise the site.

“In 2015, the site was cleared and levelled to commence redevelopment.

“Today, 14 years on, the site remains an empty overflow car park with no development approved.”

Mr Croker said in 2009 he provided a councillor with information about redevelopment options and possible caravan park operators, including RAC, based on his own research during a caravan trip around Australia.

He said it was very frustrating to still have no timeline for when the redevelopment would occur and, as a ratepayer, he felt it was “a terrible waste of land” in its current state.

The caravan park site is used for overflow parking at Quinns Beach in summer.

Acting corporate strategy and performance director David Nicholson said the City continued to “work diligently to ensure the former Quinns Rocks Caravan Park site meets the needs of the community”.

“Community and industry consultation is progressing and a community survey is scheduled within the next few months,” he said.

“In the event future development is approved by council, the project will be subject to legislation and to State Government planning and environmental requirements.”

Mr Croker said the site overlooking the ocean should be earning the City an income, particularly from grey nomads.

“Caravan parks are one of the most successful tourist businesses in Australia,” he said.

“It’s one of the businesses in this economy that’s doing really well with baby boomers – a good caravan park will be full all the time.

“Wanneroo Council’s extremely poor management of the process has taken much needed revenue away from surrounding businesses and denied ratepayers a revenue stream that would assist in keeping rates as low as possible.

“Council has tried to explain their lack of action to formal questions put by ratepayers over the past few years, but still there is no facility.”

The City held workshops and an initial consultation period late last year, and, according to its website, plans to do a survey seeking community feedback in late 2019.

Its capital works budget for 2019-20 included $110,000 for the caravan park redevelopment.