COUNCIL BANS PARK VISITS



DEALING with complaints about the notorious Banora Point Caravan Park has allegedly been so stressful for Tweed Shire Council staff, two of them have taken special sick leave.

The council now faces workers' compensation claims and has stopped all staff from going to the park.

A spokesman for the remaining 21 permanent park residents, who have been battling for action against deteriorating conditions in the park for more than six years, said he was aware the officers had taken leave and had not visited the park since last July.

Len Hogg said he had also been told by one of their council superiors that due to occupational health and safety matters no council officer would come to the park.

But he expressed surprise that compensation might be payable to the officers.

"If they can claim compensation for the few times they visited, we must have a massive claim for compensation because we live here," he said.

The council's environment and health services manager Geoff Edwards could not comment specifically but said any claim by an employee for stress leave became part of the workers' compensation program.

He said stress leave claims were dealt with "in the normal way we deal with any other person who gets injured at work".

Mr Edwards confirmed that for workplace health and safety reasons no council officer had been sent to the caravan park "since the end of 2005".

Last month the NSW government announced it would ask the Supreme Court to allow it to appoint an administrator to the park under new legislation it passed late last year.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Diane Beamer took the unprecedented step to relieve the park owner of his administrative duties because of "continuing concerns about the welfare" of the dwindling band of permanent residents.



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