Park out for tender

November 09, 2017

Council is seeking a longer term leasing arrangement for Victoria Lake Caravan Park.

Greater Shepparton City Council has gone to tender for the management of Victoria Lake Caravan Park for the next year, while it tries to secure a longer term developer and lease arrangement for the site.

Council chief executive Peter Harriott said the current arrangement for the management of the park would soon be coming to an end, and that council needed to find a party to run the facility for the next 12 months.

‘‘We need to put in place this 12-month extension,’’ he said.

The council had been in discussions with the Victorian Government regarding a longer lease for the future site to ensure a group could commit to a redevelopment. But had so far been unsuccessful.

Mr Harriott said the market had told the council a 21-year lease was insufficient and a 40-year lease was desired.

‘‘We’ve been asking for a longer term (lease) so we can get someone to then commit to a redevelopment,’’ Mr Harriott said.

‘‘We haven’t been able to convince them a longer term lease is required.’’

‘‘While we’re continuing those discussions, we need to have someone operating the facility ... for the next 12 months while we finalise negotiations,’’ he said.

‘‘(Council) is seeking an experienced company to provide a management service to oversee the operation of the Victoria Lake Caravan Park in Shepparton,’’ a tender notice reads.

The tender specifies the contract term will be for 12 months, starting on or before January 1, 2018, and finishing at the end of next year.

Mayor Dinny Adem said the aspiration was for the council to secure a longer term operator of the site who could ‘‘develop the whole site to a higher standard’’. But he didn’t think the tender would mean much change to the fundamental operations of the park.

In May, the council had hoped the Victorian Government would approve a longer term lease to improve interest in the site, after receiving little interest in developing the park, which will be adjacent to the future Shepparton Art Museum.

A report to last August’s council meeting had said the council could not afford to upgrade the park itself, but nor could it afford to have the park left ‘‘as it is in poor condition next to a new, state-of-the-art SAM’’.

At this meeting, councillors had voted on whether to pursue long-term lease arrangements for Victoria Lake Caravan Park with the private sector.

Feasibility studies and the Victoria Park Lake Master Plan had recommended four-star accommodation as the best fit for the area, but had reported the investment required to bring the site up to this standard would be significant and possibly several million dollars.

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