Gympie Caravan Park managers accuse council of bullying
THE lease holders of the Gympie Caravan Park have accused the Gympie Regional Council of "bullying tactics" in an effort to oust them.
Richard Kemp and Emma Noble won the tender for the Gympie Caravan Park, a Gympie Regional Council controlled asset, in early 2012.
The couple won the tender and took over from Ms Noble's parents, who had run the caravan park for more than 20 years.
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Now, Mr Kemp said the council are on a mission to oust them from their livelihood and have claimed the couple have breached their contract.
He said under their management they have already upgraded the caravan park beyond belief and sold assets to funnel funds into improving the park.
"We took this park over in a state the AAA (Australian Automobile Association) weren't even going to rate it," Mr Kemp said.
"In nearly six years, we've turned it around to a park people want to come."
Mr Kemp said the park was valuable to the community.
"We are worth more to the community than the aquatic centre or the Rattler combined," he said.
The Gympie Regional Council issued letters to Mr Kemp and Ms Noble outlining the alleged breaches to their contract, but Mr Kemp pointed out errors in the letter and asked for corrections.
He said he has not been issued a corrected letter so he will not be replying.
"They (the council) said they did not accept my response and said "you're not listening"," Mr Kemp said.
"They want us out, they want me to remove our sign from the front."
Mr Kemp said a letter from council outlined the breaches, which included failure to improve power and water on the property, which he said are ahead of timeframes set by the council in the contract.
He said the council set the dates of completion to be January 2019 and 2026 respectively.
"Power is 80% finished, we are able to remove all power poles, one more trench from the top corner of park to the big shed and this will complete power and power the pool, which is due 2019," Mr Kemp said.
"This last section will fit in with pool construction.
"Water is ongoing, a sectional project being hard to achieve due to no plans," he said.
"The top section, down to the amenities and around the new cabins is complete and as we progress with the pool we will continue with the rest."
A Gympie Regional Council spokeswoman said the council has requested its officers undertake a full updated assessment.
The spokeswoman said two key issues were the contract agreement breach, including the list of scheduled works promised by Mr Kemp and Ms Noble within their agreed timeframes.
The second was a number of non-compliances in accordance with the relevant legislation pertaining to caravan park operation, of which, she said, there were a number of breaches.
"Mr Kemp and Ms Noble have held the lease since 2012 for the Gympie Caravan Park following council's tender process," the spokeswoman said.
"The submission was successful based on their proposal to deliver a number of certified works and improvements to the park, including amongst other things toilets, laundry, upgraded reticulated water services and internal roadways.
"These certified works were due for completion in 2013 and water in 2015, however were not completed and council officers have been working with Mr Kemp to address these issues. These issues remain outstanding.
"Council appreciates a range of works have been completed, the above works however have not."
The spokeswoman said there is also a number of outstanding regulatory matters.
"Council is concerned about the wellbeing of the patrons within the caravan park," she said.
"Council officers have worked to continue to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved, unfortunately Mr Kemp stated he did not and was not prepared to enter into further conversation with officers.
"Once council has completed its full updated assessment it will give further consideration as to how to move forward having regard to the best interests of the community," the spokeswoman said.