Great Ocean Road Coast Committee ends Morris family Anglesea park tenure despite $10m bid

May 24, 2016
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee ends Morris family Anglesea park tenure despite $10m bid

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee will take on the operation of the Anglesea Beachfront Caravan Park at the end of the current lease, 1 December 2017, after a select tender process did not find an acceptable proposal for the value of the site.

On Sunday June 12 there is an Anglesea Community Meeting regarding the Morris family and the termination of their lease of 20 years at 10.45am - Anglesea Bowling Club.

From the GORCC website: The tender submissions addressed 10 criteria, of which four were scored against: park and asset management plans; environmental management plans; and communications and engagement plans, and the actual commercial offer.

The submissions provided commercial offers that were not considered of an acceptable value and GORCC exercised its rights under the tender conditions to seek a Best and Final offer from all tenderers with regard to the commercial component of the tender.


1 Leaders in what they do best Tourism Accom Award winners all Trish & Errol Morris centre and back right

The offers, when compared with the modelling of the park operations, resulted in a potential multi-million dollar net income shortfall to GORCC over the life of the lease.

GORCC then authorised the cessation of the tender project, having not received an acceptable value offering.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee has determined that the best result for campers, park and the community is for the park to be run by GORCC with fees going back into the park, environmental and education programs and other projects at Queens Park and Point Grey.

GORCC Chief Executive Officer Richard Davies said: the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee will continue to ensure the best possible visitor experience at the park, protect the coastal environment and maintain its responsibility for ensuring the effective management on behalf of the Victorian Government, the community and visitors.

"GORCC will commence a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process, including a master plan for the park," Richard Davies said.

"We will work closely with the community to ensure the future directions for the park and investment in the park and environment are in accordance with community, camper and visitor expectations."

Richard Davies said the committee was committed to maintaining the site at current standards.

"At the time of change of management no current guests, campers and permit holders will be disadvantaged by the change," Richard Davies said.


Powered bush camping area Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park

"The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a not-for profit organisation. Funds generated through park operations will be going back into improvements at the park and to progress other coastal management projects such as improvements to the Queens Park Caravan Park and development of the Point Grey project, as well as supporting and expanding our infrastructure, education programs and environmental protection works."

Richard Davies said the committee extended its thanks to the existing lessees Errol and Trish Morris for managing the park during the current lease period.

Manager Justin Morris, Kristie Walters and the Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park Team said this today:

"Having developed and managed the Park over the past 20 years as a family business we are immensely proud of what we have achieved with the property, the longstanding relationships we have built and the friends we have made. I would also like to provide an unequivocal assurance that we will continue to operate and maintain the Park to the same high quality standards through to the end of our lease".

"Whilst we accept that GORCC has every right to take over management of the Park we find it difficult to understand how GORCC will do a better job. We find it even more difficult to believe that GORCC will commit to the level of investment that was promised by us".

1 Spa cabin luxury Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park
1 Spa cabin luxury Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park

"Since the announcement there has been overwhelming support from park guests, industry colleagues, friends and the local community for our family and staff who would like our family to continue as the operators of The Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park".

The Geelong Advertiser reports that:

Park manager Justin Morris, whose parents Errol and Trish have invested in the business for the past 20 years, labelled the move "embarrassing" following the family's lease submission said to be in excess of $10 million.

"We've given everything into this to improve the park to the next level  how dare they say that?" he said of GORCC's decision.

"It's really disappointing. We've gone from where it was to where it is now, and we wanted to make it go even further."

The centrepiece of the Morris investment proposal was a multi-million dollar indoor aquatic centre, designed to be a year-round draw card for visitors and locals on the Surf Coast.

The family argues their submission provided increased income, employment and tourism opportunities and, while accepting the landowner's right to take over, they find it difficult to understand how GORCC will do a better job.

1 The bed is a comfortable as it looks Anglesea
1 The bed is a comfortable as it looks Anglesea
Anglesea Beach.
Anglesea Beach.
Powered sites beside the beach and river
Powered sites beside the beach and river
1 Lorna enjoys 69 years of Anglesea  holidays
1 Lorna enjoys 69 years of Anglesea holidays