AFTER continually being faced with a trashed kitchen, broken shower heads and screens, and missing toilet door locks, permanent residents of the Colour City Caravan Park have had a gut-full.
The residents say a group of about 20 unruly backpackers are to blame, often partying into the early hours of the morning.
But the residents believe Orange City Council should step up to put a stop to the ongoing damage and antisocial behaviour.
In the latest spate of damage, the caravan park’s laundry door was broken when someone attempted to gain access after the laundry closed at 10pm, and the residents say Orange ratepayers are the ones picking up the bill.
Jena Templeton has lived in the park for three years with her family.
She said some of the backpackers, who were doing the right thing, were embarrassed by the antics of their fellow travellers.
“We’re meant to be promoting Orange as a tourist Mecca ... but other tourists are being turned off,” she said.
Gordon Thurlow said a travellers from Bathurst and Queensland had said they would never return to the park after parties into the early hours of the morning over the long weekend.
The residents believe the park needs a permanent caretaker on-site 24/7 and also suggest boom gates at the entrance to deter people from entering the park after dark to use the facilities without paying to stay.
But council spokesman Allan Reeder said the damage was not significant and the council would not consider a live-in manager or boom gates.
He said security guards patrolled the park “a number of times” during the night after they locked all the doors and the park’s manager had not received any complaints from residents.
“Boom gates are only effective in keeping honest people out,” he said.
“We’re comfortable with that level of security.”
But another resident, who declined to be named, said she rarely saw any security guards and the park needed security cameras.
“What’s the point of cutting the budget if they spend twice as much on repairs?” she asked.
Ms Templeton said councillors had been concerned about backpackers leaving Orange with a bad impression after their tents were burnt early this year, but the council seemed unconcerned about other tourists spreading the word about the damaged park facilities.
Mr Reeder said backpackers were essential for local orchardists and the caravan park filled a niche providing cheap accommodation.
“That will change the nature and flavour of the caravan park for a short time each year and that’s something the permanent residents have to come to terms with,” he said.
Ms Templeton said the residents had been waiting two weeks for locks on the bathroom to be replaced and one week for a shower screen to be fixed.
The screen was later fixed on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Reeder said the person responsible had come forward and would pay for the damage and the laundry door was on the council’s list of repairs.
He said the council did not contact the police about the broken laundry door because it may have been done when a camper was trying to get undercover when it was raining.