The chairman of the state’s Crown Holiday Parks Trust says the Silver Sands and Shaws Bay caravan parks are under utilised.
Plans to spend millions of dollars at Ballina and Evans Head have sparked fears of higher prices and fewer camping sites being available.
The Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett has been a vocal critic, saying locals will be priced out of the market.
But the trusts Alan Revell says better facilities will attract more visitors.
At the moment were getting occupancies at those two parks of probably in the order of 40-45 per cent, he said.
You’d probably normally expect parks of that type, particularly Silver Sands, you’d probably expect occupancies in the order of 65-70 per cent.
So they’re being under utilised at the moment and what we’ve found in the past, once you sort of do something with the parks and dolly them up, then the occupancies do improve.
The deadline for submissions on the management plans lapses at the close of business today.
Meanwhile, the New South Wales Crown Lands website shows new plans of management for the Ferry Reserve, Massey Green and Terrace Reserve holiday parks at Brunswick Heads have now been been approved.
The decision was made three weeks ago, but Byron Mayor Simon Richardson says no-one at the council was told.
“Its quite a shock to think that something that is so contentious amongst the community and so important for the community is released without any fanfare,” he sdaid.
“I think perhaps we could read no fanfare another way and that is slipping it through.
“Hopefully its not an indication of the type of community consultation and concern that the trust have.”
Michelle Grant, from the Brunswick Heads Foreshore Protection Committee, says she is extremely disappointed by the decision.
She says none of the concessions sought by the community have been granted.
“They have refused to reinstate access along Simpsons Creek in the Terrace,” Ms Grant said.
“They intend to continue camping on this very narrow stretch of riverbank in the southern section that really impacts severely on adjoining neighbours.
“At Ferry Reserve we were hoping to get the whole foreshore strip retained for public use, not just the little 10-metre strip that the caravan park patrons all use for their recreation.
“It doesn’t really work, and the same in Massey Green.”