THE Great Ocean Road Coast Committee in Victoria has been cleared of
any wrongdoing in a controversial decision to take over the lease of
Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park.
An independent assessment of the process has decided it met relevant
guidelines and requirements.
There was a storm of protests after the committee called for tenders ...
but then decided to award the lease to itself, leaving the current
leaseholders out in the cold after 21 years.
The Morris family, which has spent millions turning the park into one of
the most popular in the region, must quit at the end of this year.
It has declined to comment on the latest development.
Victoria's Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio directed her department to
engage consultants McGrathNicol to look at the decision and tender
"While the assessment found that the process was above board, the report
has highlighted areas where it can be improved," the minister said in a
'Clearly these were
not sufficient and
need to be changed'
"GORCC followed the leasing guidelines put in place by the former
government, clearly these are not sufficient and need to be fixed."
She has asked for an urgent meeting with GORCC's chairperson to make it
clear what the expectations are for committees of management to move
The consultants decided the GORCC had acted "in the best financial
interests of Victoria" while conducting the tender process to a high
standard, including appointing a probity adviser.
Their assessment also identified areas for improvement in GORCC’s tender
process, including developing an effective complaints management process
and applying a "robust and transparent evaluation process".
It thought more consideration could have been given to the existing assets
and better guidance to tenderers over the minimum rental or capital works
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will now work with
the committee to ensure these changes are made ahead of future tenders.
The government will also review the Victorian Crown Land Leasing Policy
and associated guidelines developed in 2012 by the previous government.