Fingal van park dwellers protest
MORE than 100 people are willing to fight to keep their little slice of paradise at Fingal Head, and the fight is just beginning.
Occupiers of long-term caravan sites at the Fingal Holiday Park will protest against a proposed redevelopment of the park by Tweed Shire Council after receiving letters in December from the Tweed Parks Holiday Trust who advised the 78 holders of long-term casual caravans they would probably have to vacate the park within 12 months for the redevelopment to proceed.
Fingal Van Owners steering committee vice-president Geoff Magoffin said the plan, which covers all seven holiday parks on the Tweed, is not economically viable.
“What the plan proposes is to remove almost all of the long-term casuals from all seven parks, and in some cases, like Kingscliff, to drastically reduce the number of overnight sites,” Mr Magoffin said.
“We understand they would like to see the parks become more profitable, but to remove us is to take away their weekly bread and butter and best marketing tool.
“At Fingal, the long-term casuals contribute about $400,000 per year.
“The plan makes the assumption that Fingal would be occupied by tourists 100% of the time, but how can they guarantee this?”
“The council's draft plan has no figures and data to support the plan.” Another important issue for the committee was the proximity of the Fingal Aboriginal cemetery.
“Of great concern also is the impact of any redevelopment on the Aboriginal remains we know exist beneath and adjoining the park. This is something we will be investigating,” Mr Magoffin said.
“We love and respect Fingal for the magic place it is, and are determined to keep it that way.”
Carmel Lackey, who has been a long-term van owner for 21 years, said the thought of having to leave would break her heart.
“I would be just devastated,” Mrs Lackey said.
“I don't even want to think about having to leave.”
The next plan of action for the committee is to invite Tweed Shire councillors and Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner out to the park to make sure council understands all the aspects of redevelopment before it is approved.
The committee has created a Facebook page and a website with links to an online petition, which can be found at www.fingalvanowners.com.