A PETITION calling on Sunshine Coast Council not to close the ocean-front caravan park at Mooloolaba has attracted more than 2100 signatures from both locals and tourists from across Australia.
Petition organiser Karina Baumann said she was absolutely stunned by the response.
The planned closure is part of the Mooloolaba Precinct Planning proposal which includes an artificial rock pool on the beach and a kiosk and water play area where the caravan park now stands.
Submissions to the draft document close Wednesday with council expected to adopt the final document in December.
If it votes on the plan as it stands, the closure of the caravan park would be one of the first steps in the long-term rejuvenation strategy.
Spinnaker Quays Mooloolaba manager and tourism industry stalwart Peter Foran said retention of the park was a great opportunity for Mooloolaba to have a truly historic site as part of its tourism mix.
"Why have a water park and rock pool when the rock pools, real ones, are 50m away?" he said.
Mr Foran said the fact it was difficult to secure a booking in the park was irrelevant.
"I think that each site, on average, creates in excess of $140/day for the town," he said.
The view is shared by regular park users including Rosemount turf farmer and former canegrower Ross Boyle whose family has been holidaying at the caravan park for the past 30 years.
Mr Boyle said persistence had eventually secured his family a spot in the park.
"It's not cheap with the front loading and the $10 a day extra per person for more than two people," he said. "It costs about $800 a week for us.
"But it's an iconic site. Council doesn't own it and I believe the land has been designated as a caravan park.
"We will have a fighting team set up and will look at all our options, including a legal challenge."
Mr Boyle said the park was an economic positive for the region.
"It's not a drain on council funds," he said. "Council was planning to do up the amenity block. It hasn't been touched in 40 years."
People wishing to make a submission to the Mooloolaba Precinct Plan must do so by 5pm Wednesday.
For details go to www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/sitePage.cfm?code=placemaking-mooloolaba.
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