Park and pleasure for workers
NO one knows how to mix business and pleasure quite like John Walsh.
The Boyne River Tourist Park owner, Benaraby, owner says he’s really just glutton for punishment as the venture he is about to embark on is similar to what he’s been doing for the past 20 years.
He said he buys caravan parks and builds them up and has done this to Emerald’s Lake Maraboon and Bargara’s Oceanfront Tourist Park.
Mr Walsh is adding to the benaraby caravan park, but not just for the tourist industry.
His plans include a workers camp for about 260 people with a restaurant, swimming pool, indoor recreation facility and outdoor recreation area, and it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to throw a line in to catch a fish.
“There’s been such a demand in the past month, which has been incredible,” Mr Walsh said.
“We are turning away workers and tourists every day, since the dam overflowed and the fishing got better.
“We have been at capacity since Christmas. We’ve got so many sites now booked out for 12 months with workers that we are limited for space.”
And it’s that kind of business that’s given Mr Walsh the confidence to take a chance on what he reckons is an obvious opportunity.
Mr Walsh said they had two helicopters land at the back of the caravan park on Tuesday, who had called from the air after spotting the site and asked if there was accommodation available.
Gladstone Regional Council approved a temporary development application for the site for a kitchen and dining facility, indoor recreation facility and outdoor recreation area at Tuesday’s meeting.
A Material Change of Use application was lodged with council on March 7 for the site to become a workers accommodation.
The site will provide accommodation for workers involved in the Narrows Gas Pipeline Project.
Meanwhile, UDIA Gladstone Branch president Geoff McWilliam believes he has the solution to Gladstone’s housing problems however The Observer was unable to get in contact with Mr McWilliam by close of business today to find out how the LNG companies working with UDIA could open up houses sooner would happen, or if he had directly approached the companies.
Do you know a business person taking clever advantage of what’s to come in Gladstone?