Permanent closure of park
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A NEW South Wales council has rejected
claims that it wanted to force the closure
of its caravan park.
Dungog Shire Council triggered community outrage when it abruptly pulled
down the shutters at Williams River Holiday Park in Clarence Town, just
north of Newcastle.
questioned the council's wisdom in closing a popular caravan park, warning
it could sound the death knell for the small community in the State's
But the council said it had no alternative, blaming the move on "safety and compliance" problems
at the park..
In a report presented to an extraordinary council meeting the authority
said there had been fears the park would never reopen.
"As a result, the hurt and anger felt by many within the community in
regard to the closure tended to coalesce on a range of conspiracy
theories," it said.
These concentrated on alleged permanent closure and the sale of land on
which the holiday park stood.
The report said there were "other matters that had no basis in fact and
were in truth a distraction from the real focus ... which was park
"Council at no time considered selling the land on which the park is
located. Part of the site is Crown Land and cannot be sold."
The report pointed out that the council had moved quickly to identify
possible short-term solutions, with a section of the caravan park
reopening within a few weeks after infrastructure works.
"Council is now in a position to determine a timeline for further
reopening of the site," it said.
"The challenge now is not whether the park can operate across its full
footprint, it is in what form that operation should take."
Updated approval has been granted to operate 63 sites at the holiday park,
which will continue to operate under the care and control of the council
until an expression of interest process for the future management is