Red tape issue
Owners of caravan parks are required to re-register their caravan park through local government every three years. Councils often require caravan park owners to rework existing assessments and plans, despite no change in circumstances. In most circumstances the Country Fire Authority (CFA) is engaged to review fire and emergency arrangements. This adds little or no value to overall fire safety and is costly to those that run caravan parks.
The proposal is that, once issued, the registration of a caravan park should remain current and be subject to an annual registration fee and submission of a statement from the owner certifying that a self-assessment has been undertaken in accordance with a set of fire safety and emergency management standards.
Exceptions to this streamlined re-registration process would be where:
- there is evidence of any breach of the Residential Tenancies (Caravan Parks and Movable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations 2010;
- there is evidence of any other relevant breach;
- a significant change has been made to the caravan park; or
- there is a change of ownership.
In these situations the fire safety standards and emergency management plan would need to be independently audited and reported on by a relevant professional at cost to the caravan park, with the report accompanying the re-registration application.
The Government is currently working to resolve a number of issues associated with implementation of this change, including:
- the role that the Victorian Caravan Parks Association (VicParks) will be expected to play in order to ensure the overall standards of safety in caravan parks are maintained; and
- the standard against which the self-assessment will be carried out and the details which will be required as part of the statement from the owner.
In line with the objectives of the Regulations, which include providing for the health and safety of residents and short term occupiers of caravan parks, implementation of this change will depend upon Government being satisfied that the overall health and safety standards in caravan parks will be maintained.