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(l-r rear) Clarence Valley Council’s general manager Ashley Lindsay, the park’s managers, Adrian and Casey Easdown, and Yamba Chamber of Commerce’s treasurer, Rick Angelo; (l-r front), the chamber’s secretary, Bev Mansfield, and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis. Image: Geoff Helisma

State backs holiday park upgrade

Geoff Helisma | Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has announced that Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has won a $6.7million grant to upgrade the Calypso Holiday Park in Yamba. On Monday June 25, he met with the council’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, the park’s managers, Adrian and Casey Easdown, and Yamba Chamber of Commerce’s secretary, Bev Mansfield, and treasurer, Rick Angelo. “This is fully funded in last week’s State Budget and the money comes from the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund, secured by the Nationals in government, “Mr Gulaptis said. “The grant will enable an $8.7million overhaul of the park, with a resort-style pool, new cabins, barbecue facilities, camp kitchens and amenity blocks, a new reception and manager’s residence and the introduction of Wi-Fi across the site.” Clarence Valley Council, as the manager of the Clarence Coast Reserve Trust (CCRT), will contribute $2million towards the park’s redevelopment. Mr Lindsay said that the council’s contribution was not yet factored into CVC’s budget. “It was unknown whether or not the application would be successful,” he said. “At this point it’s not in our long-term financial plan.” Mr Ashley said the next step in the process is “bringing a report to council advising success of the grant application and to incorporate our [CCRT/CVC] contribution into the long term financial plan”. “I’m confident the council will have the resources to make our contribution and, remember, it’s a staged project,” he said. “The nature of the development means we can’t do it all at once; we have to be careful how it’s staged and, at the same time, keep the park operating.” Councillors voted unanimously at the November 2016 council meeting to adopt the final concept design for the park, which was then valued at $8.75million. Mr Lindsay said that a quantity survey, “in current year dollars”, would be completed before the report was brought before council. Mr Gulaptis pointed out that once the redevelopment of the park was completed it would “substantially reduce maintenance costs [compared to current costs], enhance visitors’ experiences and help promote Yamba as a great holiday tourism place”. “Calypso has been around for nearly 60 years [and] there has been much talk about upgrades, but the [NSW] Government has now locked in the funding, so it will finally happen,” Mr Gulaptis said.