Future of Talbot Caravan Park looking brighter

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Central Goldfields Shire Council and Talbot Football Netball Club are working closely to safeguard the future of Talbot Caravan Park and thereby ease the fear of relocation for long-term residents.

Ongoing issues relating to electrical safety, water supply, fire prevention and emergency management had put the park’s future in jeopardy as it did not comply with health and safety regulations and put the safety of long-term residents and short-term visitors at risk.

The Caravan Park, which is home to 11 permanent residents, is a major revenue raiser for its operator, the Talbot Football and Netball Club.

A community meeting in February made it clear that the park’s residents and the Club wanted the park to remain open in the belief that it could draw short-term visitors looking for free and low cost, ‘no frills’ camping and caravanning to the town. There was also fear held by some residents that they would become homeless if the park closed when its registration expired on December 31 2020.

A report on the progress of the Talbot Caravan Park was tabled at the June Council meeting last night (23/06).

Central Goldfields CEO Lucy Roffey said Council was committed to supporting Talbot Caravan Park residents and ensuring the town had a vibrant economy.

“However, as the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s appointed land manager of the Crown Land portion of the park, it is incumbent on Council to make sure this facility is safe for all users. Council undertook works in December last year to install new water tanks to improve the safety of the park during the fire season.

“Since agreeing to a works schedule to upgrade the park, the Talbot Football and Netball Club has made good progress – establishing lighting in communal areas; removing storage vans to ensure adequate space between vans and digging trenches for electrical cabling and engaging professional contractors to finish this work. “Work is continuing on establishing an Emergency Management Plan and electrical and plumbing contractors are working with the Club to address the remaining items outlined in the works schedule.

“The Club’s commitment to updating the park and the fact that it is on-track to fulfil all the required health and safety obligations to make the park compliant with Residential Tenancies (Caravan Parks and Moveable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations is a credit to the Club, park residents and the community as a whole.”

“Should all works be completed by the agreed deadline, late July, Council would be in a position to re-register the park for two years, from December 31, 2020 until December 31, 2022. If the works are not completed as per the agreed schedule, Council would need to review its options.”

“Should the park be re-registered in December 2020, Council would formalise management of the park through a lease agreement. Under this agreement, Council would work with the operator, currently the Talbot Football Netball Club, in continuing to improve health and safety conditions and to improving the facilities available to park users.”

The Report to Council recommended that if the park was re-registered for operation from December 2020, an independent formal market rental valuation be undertaken to determine whether Council should seek Ministerial exemption to negotiate directly with the Talbot Football Netball Club for the ongoing operation of the park.

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