A caravan park located in Skenes Creek (Australia) is reopening in limited ways after the park’s closure over a year ago. But the town’s community association is unhappy with how the park has been managed in the past year.
The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA) had taken over the previously privately-managed Skenes Creek Foreshore Caravan Park on December 1, 2020.
According to an announcement, the Skenes Creek Advancement Association claimed that the park was once an extremely popular and active community campground, cafe, and shop that was used by regular campers, locals, and visitors; however, “the whole campground has now been closed, derelict and neglected for months.”
The association claims that the Skenes Creek community was keen to collaborate with GORCAPA to reinstate the campground back to a thriving year-round community hub and have clarity around the campground’s future.
“We have requested a meeting with GORCAPA to discuss our concerns and to establish a working relationship as clearly there is none at present.”
“GORCAPA has claimed it could produce a much better result for taxpayers, campers, and the community than the former operator, but quite the opposite has been the case so far,”
“At present, the Skenes Creek community has no confidence in GORCAPA’s community transparency.”
A GORCAPA spokesperson confirmed that the authority conducted an independent safety audit of the seasonal park and its amenities, including the on-site kiosk.
“The audit revealed a number of safety issues and hazards that required attention at the park, including the removal of the kiosk. This audit and subsequent inspections have provided the Authority with a clear understanding of the onsite works required.”
“We will continue to work with the Skenes Creek Advancement Association and Colac Otway Shire as we deliver works at the park and will also engage with the local community and campers to ensure we deliver an outcome that is supported; by all user groups of the site.”
The park is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, December 8, subject to maintenance and ground work.
“Given that we have not been able to deliver the planned upgrades discussed with campers last year and we will not have a reception kiosk for the 2020/21 summer period, we are giving campers the option of moving their booking for this Christmas period to one of the Authority’s other seven caravan parks along the Great Ocean Road,” the GORCAPA spokesperson said.
“Campers who wish to retain their booking at Skenes Creek can do so, with the understanding that not all facilities will be available.”
The spokesperson stated that GORCAPA plans to revamp the camping facilities and improve the overall camping experience. Investigations so far have identified cultural heritage, erosion issues, bushfires, and flooding that held up the process.
“The authority has recently secured funding for the redevelopment of the park and plans to consult with the local community, community groups, and campers in early 2022 in order to deliver an outcome that is supported by all user groups of the site.”