Holiday Parks – Samurai – April Update

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

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3 Responses to Holiday Parks – Samurai – April Update

  1. Margaret says:

    This article is a “must read” for every ratepayer and resident in Port Stephens. It is an excellent analysis. We need more profits to come back to our parks and reserves and upgrades to deteriorating amenities blocks. Unfortunately this doesn’t appeal that much to Councillors as I’m not too sure they want their name on a plaque which officially opens a toilet block!

  2. Terry Wall says:

    I believe this is a classical example of the dangers of governments and local bodies getting involved in businesses without either the (private sector) business experience or indeed the threat to their personal wealth, when things do not work out. It has been proven time and time again and it must stop.

    If there is an apparent business opportunity on the go, then Council should restrict itself to setting the rules and the needed infrastructure to encourage the business, BUT NOT get rate payers involved in any capital sense. Council is a provider of services and amenities to the community and should stay away from gambling with rate payers money. If private enterprise does not take up the apparent ‘golden’ opportunity it will be for a damn good reason.

  3. Neil Hansford says:

    Well done to the team for sticking at this exposure of mismanagement and waste of resources.
    Samurai is now an unfortunate memory with just the loans to be repaid. Clearly Lands won’t see their funds allocated to the Shoal Bay wharf and the public road to Tomaree Headland. That is now a challenge for PSC.
    Maybe the change in government 2 years ago and resultant proper discharge of fiduciary duties now allowable at Lands has seen a proper outcome.
    I would be careful of highlighting the empty accommodation at Samurai lest the Federal Government sees it as a nice place by the sea for immigrants without appropriate paperwork.

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