Righting the Rochester Caravan Park water right wrong

By Lachlan Durling

AN ADMINISTRATIVE error will be corrected after Campaspe Shire Council resolved to gift a water right to the Rochester Caravan Park committee of management.

If the Crown agrees, council will return the water rights to the committee of management of the park.

Campaspe Shire was the committee of management until the July 2018 council meeting when council agreed to leave the running of the park to a DELWP-appointed committee of management.

However after water rights were separated from land in July 2007, the 5mL high reliability and 2.8mL low reliability rights remained with council after it left the park.

“Council has never used the water for any other purpose than to water the caravan park grounds and it has never been consolidated with other council water assets for sale on the temporary market,” regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said.

“Council has derived no benefit from holding the water and has not used the water ... its loss would have little or no impact on (council’s) operations

“Without the water assets the (current Caravan Park) committee of management would be forced to purchase water either on the temporary or permanent markets as it is essential for the business that the park is green.”

Speaking to the decision at the March council meeting, councillor Neil Pankhurst said the decision will benefit the Rochester community.

“It’s a sensational outcome, addresses what was an administrative error and ensures the crown reserve in Rochester will have access to water to meet their needs,” he said.

Council will write to DELWP explaining the intention to gift the water back and request the Crown agree to allocating the water to the Rochester Caravan Park Crown Land Reserve.