Community backs local family as GORCC takes lease and rejects new aquatic centre for Anglesea.
Despite being offered a generous increase on their lease rental and a promised multi million dollar capital investment to be made in the Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park, the Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee (“GORCC”) have refused to renew the Crown lease on the Park to the Morris family who are the current lessees.
The GORCC announcement was made public in a press release within an hour of informing the Morris family, without any discussions, negotiations or notice!
The community, including worried business traders have rallied around the Morris family and are hoping that this decision can be overturned and the Morris’s be given the opportunity to enter into lease negotiations for the Park on just and fair commercial terms.
A regular guest camper at the Park started a petition on Sunday afternoon and in just 5 days its has garnered over 3,000 signatures of people showing their support for the Morris family and concern over GORCC’s decision.
It should be noted that GORCC is also the landlord of the Park, operates competing commercial caravan parks in the area and instigated, managed the tender process and decided the result of the tender. They have now announced that they will take back the expiring Crown land lease – as well as take over the family’s caravan park business which has been built up and operated on the Crown land – on the same day the lease expires on 1 December 2017 and run it all themselves.
GORCC stated in their media release that the reasoning behind their decision is that “…a select tender process did not find an acceptable proposal for the value of the site”.
Long time Surf Coast Resident, Errol Morris says “My family is devastated at GORCC’s decision, the way in which it was made and the wording in the press release – it is an insult”.
The Morris family have held the current Crown lease for the past 20 years and in that time have made a significant private investment in the caravan park, implementing outstanding improvements that have taken the original 2.5 STAR very basic foreshore caravan park to the award winning 4.5 STAR Holiday Park that it is today. Amongst the many accolades and awards the Park has received over the years it has independently been recognised as being one of the top ten caravan parks for kids in Australia – for the past five years running.
The Morris family’s lease submission also featured a multi-million dollar purpose built indoor Aquatic Centre that they had committed to fund.
This major attraction would not only have served the Park guests but also become a major asset for the Anglesea community. The Aquatic Centre was designed to be a year-round draw card to the Surf Coast and attract much-needed off-peak visitation to Anglesea while providing separate access to the local community and tourists to the area. This facility would also revert back to Crown ownership at the end of the lease with no cost to the local community.
Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park guests, suppliers, the local community and the Australian caravan and camping industry are all disgusted and dismayed by these announcements. The community has shown huge support for the Morris family sending hundreds of messages on Facebook and through emails.
Errol and his family are greatly humbled by the support and thank everyone for taking the time to get behind them. All they want is a fair hearing and explanation from GORCC. After 20 years they believe their family, their dedicated team and the Anglesea community deserve to know the truth.
For further information on the Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park visit their website