Colour City Caravan Park resident Ken Murchie has called on Orange City Council to explain why his weekly site fees have increased by 56 per cent.
Mr Murchie received a flyer from the management of the park on July 3, saying his site fees had increased from $74 to $132 three days earlier on July 1.
“I’ve been to the [tenancy] tribunal about this and they said junk the notice because they’re suppose to give 60 days notice in writing,” he said.
“I want to know how they can justify a 56 per cent increase.”
Mr Murchie said he has been living in the caravan park for 16 months and did not expect to be slugged by the dramatic fee increase.
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the park manager was not required to give Mr Murchie 60 days notice because he was not a permanent resident.
“There are 14 permanent residents and it’s council’s policy not to increase that but focus [the park] as a tourism site,” he said.
“The fees and charges were advertised in the management plan that went on public exhibition for 30 days.”
But Mr Murchie said the federal government considers him a permanent resident because he has lived in the park for more than a year.
“I draw a pension and Centrelink now pays me rent assistance,” he said.
“If you’re holidaying in a caravan park you don’t get rent assistance.”
Mr Redmond said the increase in site fees was in recognition of what it costs to provide the sites.
“Dubbo for example is $156 per week,” he said.
“$132 includes all water and all power.”
He defended the dramatic 56 per cent increase in one year.
“We could either do it slowly and continue to struggle to make ends meet,” Mr Redmond said.
“They are casual sites and the objective of those sites is that we turn them over.
“Most people won’t notice the [price] difference.”
Mr Murchie said he was also concerned about security at the caravan park and said he did not feel safe after dark.
“What it needs badly is an OH&S engineer to do a full safety audit.
“After dark there’s no-one in the office, there’s no security and no front gate.”