Russell Harper

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                                                                  Russell Harper
                                     Chair, Torquay Concerned Campers Committee

                                                                          6 May 2009

Peter Anderson
Chair, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee
PO Box 53
Torquay       VIC   3228

Dear Mr Anderson

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park

I write again, on behalf of the Torquay Concerned Campers Committee (TCCC) to
raise with you our continued concern with the management of the Torquay Foreshore
Caravan Park (the Park).and in response to your letter of 4 May.

In our meetings with GORCC representatives over the past year we have continued
to provide constructive input and information in good faith and with the expectation
that our input would be accepted and seriously considered by GORCC.

Dunes proposal
At the meeting on 1 May 2009, with David Clarke and Richard Davies, we were told
for the first time of GORCC’s plans regarding the 21sites located in the “Dunes”.
This has come as a great surprise and TCCC does not support this approach. Was
this significantly disruptive change included in the Masterplan submitted to the
Department of Sustainability and Environment ?, We have had no opportunity to
comment on this proposal which you are now rushing to implement.

We believe that with this new change GORCC has completely misrepresented
its plans in its dealing with the TCCC and the camping community at Torquay.

TCCC remains opposed to this proposal for the following reasons:
   This change is completely at odds and in conflict with the Masterplan concept
      we discussed and negotiated over the last 12 months and thought was
      agreed between GORCC and TCCC.
   The plan disrupts and causes great expense for campers that have
      contributed to your coffers for years;
   The provision of linear casual camping sites does not work for social
      interaction or traffic safety. Casual campers are not aware of the need for
      extra care to be taken with roads within camping ground that also serve as
      pedestrian access and informal play areas. Cluster camping with parking
      separate from the informal outside space works for safety and amenity
      reasons. This has been detailed in our February 2008 submission, in
      Appendix 4.
   Your staff and some members of the committee have stated that new visitors
      will be attracted to beachside sites. The entire Park is located beachside,
      within easy and hopefully safe walking distance to the beach without the need
      to cross roads. There is no site more than 300 metres from the beach.
   The damage to the sensitive sand dune areas by constantly changing
      caravans, tents and traffic is highly likely while current arrangements minimise
      the footprint made by campsites.


We are deeply concerned that this decision is being made to demoralise campers
and make them feel without a voice and powerless in a place where they have spent
summer holidays over many years. We believe that this decision directly contradicts
best practice camping configuration.

Hill proposal
We understand the urgent need to replace the old cabins in the Hill area, and with
that the proposal redevelop to that area. These cabins have been a prime example
of why linear camping does not work, and over the years there have been some
casual users of the cabins that have caused problems with anti-social behaviour.
Recognising that this happens intermittently, this behaviour has understandably
meant that some families in adjacent areas are concerned about cabins and how
they are managed. The cluster formation with parking outside the circle, such as
near the oval, does not appear to lead to these issues. A sense of neighbourhood is
a great social moderator.

Accordingly TCCC wishes to see the design layout of cabins in this area as we note
that the plan (September 2008) indicates that 12 cabins were to be sited in the Hill

We understand that some long standing campers are being relocated, including
TCCC members and family and are prepared to accept this plan because we
appreciate that the overall plan for this area, with cluster cabins, will be an

Amenity block
We have seen the results of disastrous amenity designs in practice in regard to the
amenity blocks built in the last few years, that is Blocks 1 and 3. The key failings
have been:

       lack of ventilation with the result that women have fainted in hot weather,
       reduction in the number of toilets,
       reduction in the number of hand basins,
       toilets adjacent to showers resulting in crowding, queues and odours;
       no benches outside the showers cubicles, meaning that there is no where to
        stand small children and dress them without remaining in the cubicle (some
        people actually shower two or three small children at once!), there is
        nowhere to sit while you are waiting in the queue, there is no where to leave
        clothes while you have a quick shower and come out to get dressed because
        there is a queue (some people are actually comfortable with that!)

Outstanding issues
Annual Report- financial details
We have requested copies of the 2007-08 GORCC Annual Report. TCCC maintains
this is critical information to inform the viability of the proposed upgrade and to
demonstrate to us, as stakeholders and members of the public that GORCC is
prudently managing public funds. Again we request the Annual Report in particular
the financial details that it is your obligation as a Committee of Management to
prepare to report to Government.

 Evidence of demand - Waiting list
TCCC remains concerned that the funding approval being sought is being directed to
the establishment of a significant number of on-site accommodation units that there


is no evidence of demand for, nor evidence of the ability of GORCC to support these
TCCC is also concerned that GORCC is introducing a ballot system, disadvantaging
long term return casual campers, without first maintaining a waiting list to
demonstrate there is demand.

It appears that GORCC is ideologically driven by quasi-commercial approaches and
continues to fail its current constituency, the very people that have provided regular
secure funding to a coastline they love.

TCCC and campers at Torquay are again seeing evidence that GORCC does not
understand outdoor recreation nor does it understand community.

We would appreciate your urgent response to TCCC regarding the following:
   A delay and review of your decision to relocate 21 annual campers in the
     Dunes area on the basis that these sites do not provide beach front access or
     views, that all sites within the park are within easy access of the beach and
     that the location of casual sites in this area will create increased
     traffic/pedestrian risk and loss of existing vegetation.
   We also request that GORCC provide an undertaking that annual sites in this
     location are not being relocated to enable cabins to be located on these sites
     at a later date.
   The financial position of GORCC in 2007-8 and ongoing financial information
     such as provided in the 2006-07 annual report to ensure ongoing
     transparency and accountability to one of your key constituencies; and
   Formal feedback regarding the paper we presented to the GORCC meeting
     on 21 November 2008 (TCCC response to the document titled “Torquay Park
     Upgrade TCCC Briefing Paper);.

The TCCC is most concerned that our representatives have met with GORCC over
the last 12 months and have only been informed of your plan to relocate the 21
annual site holders in the Dunes area approximately 1 week prior to your proposed
action to relocate them. This does not represent a basis of trust, openness and
proper consultation that we believed existed between the TCCC and GORCC.

Yours faithfully

Russell Harper
Torquay Concerned Campers Committee