‘Nowhere to go’: Grim future for Gympie park residents
Gympie Regional Council’s decision to shut the city’s caravan park has been met with mixed emotions by long-time residents, with some calling the choice a “kick in the face” and others praising the council’s efforts to help.
But almost all are in step on being left in limbo by this week’s shutdown announcement.
Allan Wakefield said he had “no idea” what could come next once the council finally locked the park’s gates in three months’ time and forced him from his home of the past 18 months.
“I’ve got nowhere to go,” Mr Wakefield said.
“I’ve got no car. I can’t tow my caravan.”
“(The closure) is a kick in the face.”
Mr Wakefield and other residents have three months to find a new home after the council announced it would close the Gympie Caravan Park following a vote at its ordinary meeting this week, saying it did not have the money to make the repairs necessary to keep the park open.
Extensive health, safety and compliance work at the park was found to be needed after the previous managers were ordered to leave following a Brisbane Supreme Court ruling they had breached their contract.
Mr Wakefield said there was a possibility of public housing being the answer but even with council help “there’s a long waiting list”.
He was not the only resident to take aim at the council; another who declined to give his name called the decision “wickedness”.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
- Little boy hospitalised after nearly drowning at Glenwood
- Mum brings ‘gypsy’ to Gympie with new boho boutique
In contrast, four-year park resident Steven Tribel said he did not know where he and his wife Vivian would go, but the council had been helpful in its efforts to help him figure that out.
“The council guys have been pretty good,” Mr Tribel said.
“The council did reassure us they would still work with us regardless of the three month time to move,” he said, adding he had been told this included help with costs.
“They’re really going out of their way to help us move out.”
Still, the Tribels will have to vacate the cabin they have called home long enough to install a garden and paved walkway at the front door of their cabin.
Mr Tribel and Mr Wakefield each expressed confusion as to why the council decided to shut the park given the work it had been carrying out there since the previous managers were removed.
Another resident of more than a decade, Pam (last name withheld by request), said she was “very depressed” when she found out about the council’s decision.
“Then the council came in and said they’d help us and they’ve been wonderful,” she said, adding she had “no complaints” about their assistance.
A resident since 2007 Pam said the decline of the park could be seen over the years.
“It used to be chockers,” she said.