Caravan parks impacted by the 2022 floods need urgent support from the State Government to rebuild and recover, according to Nationals MP Gaelle Broad.
Ms Broad told Parliament that a submission to the flood inquiry from the Victorian Caravan Parks Association noted 30 caravan parks were directly impacted by the floods.
“This caused a staggering $45 million in damages to park facilities and a further $38 million in lost revenue from a decline in tourism,” Ms Broad said.
She said caravan parks made a major contribution to the state in a variety of ways.
“In Victoria caravan parks provide over 11,700 full-time jobs. Ninety-five per cent of these jobs are in regional Victoria. In the last financial year caravan parks contributed $1.9 billion to our gross state product,” she said.
“Like many other Victorians, I grew up enjoying family holidays at caravan parks, and it’s a tradition that we’ve continued with our family. Across Northern Victoria caravan parks provide a great place for people to stay and enjoy the great outdoors,” said Ms Broad.
“They are also an important asset to our state in times of natural disaster. I want to thank caravan parks across the state that have helped our emergency response in times of floods and fires,” Ms Broad told Parliament.
Caravan parks should also be considered part of the solution at a time when Victoria is experiencing a housing crisis, Ms Broad said.
“They provide much-needed residential housing and in many regional areas provide short-term accommodation that is desperately needed for seasonal workers.”
But Ms Broad said our caravan parks are struggling with insurance and need help to rebuild after the floods.
“Many experienced direct flooding last year and are doing their best to survive during a very difficult economic environment. Recent natural disasters like the bushfires and floods are driving up insurance premiums and, for some, making it impossible to get any insurance cover at all.
“The small business flood recovery grants of up to $50,000 were quickly exhausted by parks seeking to replace cabins destroyed by the floods that cost $250,000 each. Caravan parks on Crown lease land are not eligible for the flood recovery concessional loans made available to small businesses.”
Ms Broad urged the Environment Minister to renew the 21-year Crown leases to caravan park owners in local government areas hit by the 2022 floods, and provide further support for caravan parks seeking to rebuild and recover after the floods.