Samurai Closed – Park Administration Cleaned Up
Geoff Washington and Dick Appleby met with the senior manager of the Crown Lands Department in Maitland today to discuss the submission we put to the Department and Council regarding Port Stephens management of the Crown Land Caravan Parks and Samurai Beach Resort. This had been covered in an earlier post HERE
The meeting was very informative and the summary of it and our submission are available HERE We think that most of the concerns that we raised were noted and clarifications were provided on a wide range of points that were raised during our discussion. The proposals for the revitalisation of the Shoal Bay foreshore were discussed at length and are covered in the report.
Our conclusion was that although there had been some very questionable administration practices in the in the past, and a lot of these were covered in the controversial Deloitte audit, the whole system had now been cleaned up, made more transparent, and these problems were unlikely to reoccur. Accountability for the past however was another matter. The freeze on trust funds for 2 years and lost opportunities arising out of all this will never be recovered.
We raised the situation at the Samurai Beach Resort as it is still of great concern. It has now been closed, at a substantial loss, the staff redeployed and it now poses a considerable security problem and ongoing expense if negotiations currently underway with a potential lessee are unsuccessful. About all we can say is that at least the Council has now finally admitted that a very costly mistake has been made and something had to be done to stem the haemorrhage that has been flowing from this ill conceived investment since 2003. The black hole here has been estimated (unchallenged) by one Councillor at a recent Council meeting to be $17,000,000.00 deep……………
Read the report. HERE