The Military Caravan park is for sale.
The Military Caravan park is for sale. Warren Lynam

These Coast caravan park residents are in crisis

DOZENS of caravan park tenants fear they may end up homeless after news the site has been approved for residential development.

This announcement comes less than a fortnight after the popular Mooloolaba Esplanade Holiday Park shut its gates, sparking community outrage.

The privately owned Military Jetty Caravan Park in Golden Beach was listed for sale over the weekend leaving many permanent residents, some of whom have lived at the park for 30 years, in limbo and seeking answers.

Located on the Pumicestone Passage, real estate listings for the site boast a 7117sq m land area and a development approval for 27 terrace-style units.

A long-term resident, speaking anonymously, said tenants had been left in the dark about the situation and many were anxious about the future.

"In about February they put development application signs up in the front and back of the park and everyone was asking the new managers what's going on and she just said it's only there if in the future they decide to sell," he said.


The Military Jetty Caravan Park is up for sale, boasting a 7,117sqm land area.
The Military Jetty Caravan Park is up for sale, boasting a 7,117sqm land area. Contributed

"The manager came around about a week ago and said the park's going on the market - in early July we all signed 12-month leases."

About 80 permanent residents live on site with many of them owning refurbished caravans that can't be registered or moved.

If the sale goes through, they stand to lose them.

"They're very old vans, big ones that have been totally renovated and had annexes put on them," the resident said.

"So everybody that owns their van, which is the majority of people, they have to just walk away.

"Some people have been for 20 to 30 years, they're in their late 80s."

To add more confusion to the situation, the resident said the park's owner, who lives in New Guinea, asked for the sale signs be taken down.

But management continues to be tight-lipped on the situation and the property remains listed online.

"So no-one knows what's going on," he said.

"They (management) keep claiming it was a surprise to them which is total rubbish, no one in the park believes them anymore.

"They keep telling different stories."

Military Jetty Caravan Park management declined to comment on the issue when contacted.

According to information provided by the Residential Tenancies Authority, in the event the caravan park is sold the owner or manager must honour any fixed-term lease agreements - which means residents at the Military Jetty Caravan Park who signed new leases in July should be safe until next year.

In the event the park is closed or is changed to another use, residents on fixed-term leases must be afforded three months notice - but this is little comfort to those who've spent their retirement funds making their caravans feel like home.

The potential development of the site isn't just a blow for residents, but the Coast as a whole as Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said caravan parks were an invaluable tourism asset.

"From traveller feedback, we know that caravan and camping tourism is booming and a very popular mode of holiday for families and in particular at this time of the year - grey nomads," Mr Latchford said.

"The Sunshine Coast definitely punches above its weight with the number of caravan park facilities catering for visitors."

About 30 caravan parks operate on the Sunshine Coast, with beach-side caravan parks at Dicky Beach, Maroochydore, Cotton Tree, Mudjimba, Coolum, Caloundra and Noosa.