The plight of Daylesford Holiday Park permanent residents, who were told they would have to leave, has contributed to a statewide policy change.
The change to the management of Victorian crown land caravan parks will allow existing permanent residents to remain in the parks.
Daylesford Holiday Park owners, who ordered park residents to leave in March, said in a statement in June that allowing the tenants to remain did not abide by the law.
In 2011 the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) issued guidelines saying crown land parks must not be managed for long term occupancy or permanent residency.
The changes announced on Monday mean people who are living in crown land parks can now remain legally, while the parks are open to holiday makers.
It was good news for existing residents at the Daylesford Holiday Park who can continue to live in the park legally under the new policy. But their future at the park is now up to the lessee and Hepburn Shire Council, who must undergo discussions to amend the park lease to include the policy changes.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the change in policy would create more security for the future of existing permanent residents in crown land caravan parks, and deliver a more comprehensive policy to govern the use of these vital social and economic areas.
“It’s been an understandably distressing time for the permanent residents facing eviction at Daylesford caravan park and this announcement is an important move to give the residents greater support and security,” Ms Thomas said.
“By grandfathering current arrangements, we are removing the need for caravan park managers to evict permanent residents, thereby protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“At the same time, it will ensure our local economies benefit from short term visitors staying in our crown land caravan parks ensuring fair and equitable access for everyone.”
DELWP will support Hepburn Shire Council and the lessee to amend the lease for the park in accordance with the new approach.
The policy detail will be developed in consultation with land managers and operators in coming months. It will clarify how committees of management and private operators are to manage permanent residents.