Site of proposed 'donga' village in Evans Head.
Site of proposed 'donga' village in Evans Head.

Donga village approved at Evans Head but it’s only temporary

THE application for the establishment of a caravan park on the Woodburn-Evans Head Road to provide temporary workers’ accommodation from Outback Camps Australia has been approved by Richmond Valley Council’s Development Assessment Panel


The application for the project was lodged with the council in August last year and was open for public comment where 70 public submissions - 38 supportive, 32 against - were received.

Small village  

The plan for the 10-hectare site is to build 86, four-bedroom movable dwellings, two, two-bedroom, disabled person compliant movable dwellings, as well as an administration office, amenities facilities, and dining and recreational facilities. Internal roads, car parking spaces, loading facilities, and bus pick up and set down areas will also be constructed as part of the development. 

Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said as with all development applications received by council, the proposal underwent a full professional and technical assessment to ensure it met council’s Development Control Plan, the Richmond Valley Local Environmental Plan, and relevant NSW Government legislation.

All potential impacts considered 

Mr Macdonald said the Assessment Panel considered all potential impacts of the development on the permanent residential population of Evans Head before approving the application. 

He said the site was considered suitable for the development, however, approval was subject to conditions including a wetland management plan with independent peer review and ongoing monitoring. 

“The applicant will also be responsible for costs associated with connecting to council’s reticulated sewer system and Rous Water’s reticulated water supply, as well as the installation of stormwater treatment devices,” Mr Macdonald said.  

Ensuring housing for workers

Mr Macdonald said the temporary workers’ accommodation was needed to ensure housing was available for workers during the construction phase of the Pacific Highway upgrade, and to avoid putting further demands on housing in Evans Head, Woodburn and surrounds. 

He said the proposal was considered to have an overall positive economic impact on the local area, with the occupants of the caravan park spending locally. 

He said concerns raised that the development had the potential to change a wonderful town forever could be put to rest by the fact council approval was for five years’ only, and Outback Camps Australia was obligated to remediate the site at the end of the usage period.


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