A COMMUNITY group formed to fight the eviction of residents from the embattled Ballan Caravan Park has been invited to submit a proposal to manage the park.
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) representatives met with the residents, their lawyers and representatives from the Ballan Steering Committee, including local businessman Paul Tatchell and Ballan Community Health Assistance manager Katie Talty earlier this month.
The group, which is also behind plans to build low-cost environmental homes at the park, has been asked to submit a proposal to act as a committee of management.
Mr Tatchell said it was the “only sensible approach”.
“The DSE were very amicable and keen to find a solution,” Mr Tatchell said.
“It will give us all a chance to take a deep breath and go back to the drawing board and build something to suit everybody.”
Clayton Utz solicitor Evelyn Tadros said she was pleased with the outcome.
“The Ballan steering committee has been invited to submit a proposal to act as a committee of management,” Ms Tadros said.
“The proposal involves putting together a management structure and a financial plan.”
Ms Tadros praised the community for getting behind the residents.
“We hope that they will continue their support for the Caledonian Park residents,” she said.
In January, the DSE decided to close the Ballan Caledonian Caravan Park, giving the low-income residents until July 25 to find alternative accommodation.
Some of the tenants have been living in the park for nearly 10 years.
But in July, the state government withdrew its eviction notice, days before the mainly elderly tenants were to set to lose their homes.
Long-term park resident Helen Baker said she hoped a resolution was reached quickly.
A DSE spokesperson said the department met with residents to discuss issues arising from the occupancy of the site.
“We will continue to pursue options for the future of the site,” she said.
“DSE looks forward to working with a group that has expressed interest in managing the site in the future.”