$1.28mil funding for Tweed council van parks

TWEED Shire Council caravan parks will receive $1,285,000 in government loans for major upgrades ? and at least one private van park owner is hopping mad.

While Tweed Shire Council is delighted its holiday parks will share more than $1 million in funding, a private operator says the competition could force smaller parks out of business.

Tweed MP Neville Newell yesterday announced the NSW government had made several loans to the council for its Boyds Bay, Fingal and Pottsville north and south holiday parks.

Council holiday parks boss Richard Adams said the funding will allow the parks to become aligned with market demands.

Pottsville North Caravan Park will receive the lions' share of the funding with a major upgrade costing $620,000.

Boyds Bay park will receive $540,000 for a new games room, playground, 12 ensuite units and Pay TV and internet connection.

"The funding is a requirement to be competitive in today's market," he said.

But Tweed Billabong Caravan Park owner Geoff Tribe said the funding made it tough for privately run parks to survive.

"Council parks don't compete on a commercial basis," he said. "They don't pay for the land and they already receive many benefits and this funding is just one other."

He said going up against council parks was like being in a game the umpire controls, but the umpire is also the competitor".

Owner of North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point Ian Beadel said councilowned parks "desperately need the funding", but ratepayers should be entitled to a return on the investment.

"What is critical for the council is that they don't undercut rates.

Mr Tribe's suggestion is that the government put a value on the real estate where the council parks are situated land which he said is owned by the people then charge accordingly and get a proper return for the community.

Mr Adams said his parks contribute to the Crown Land Fund by giving part of their revenue back to the council.

Mr Newell said it was "very important to fund and keep the parks upgraded because they are a major attraction to our southern visitors during the winter period".

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