The former manager of Killalea State Park says he's "gutted" the popular reserve has become run down through a lack of proper maintenance.
After seven years in the role as manager of Killalea State Park, Nathan Cattell took a voluntary redundancy from park operators Reflections Holiday Parks in late 2019.
Now based in the Shoalhaven, Mr Cattell said he recently visited The Farm after some time away, and was "very disappointed".
He said the site needed care, and while people loved it due to the natural beauty, it has open green space that needed to be maintained.
"I was gutted - all the hard work and all the projects that I'd put in place have just fallen by the wayside," he said.
"The weed management, the track maintenance, the mowing... I know we've had torrential rain and all that, but the roads are bad. Everything is poorly maintained, there's signs written in texta out the front.
"It doesn't look like it's loved."
In 2019, Kiama MP Gareth Ward announced that the NSW government had awarded a $6.5 million grant to upgrade Killalea State Park, with Reflections Holiday Parks group to invest $4.4 million into the project.
Mr Cattell said the education centre - operating out of a demountable building - needed to be updated, while upgrading the existing camp facilities was required.
However, he warned against "over-developing" the site. "The proposal is a joke," he said. "To have a 200-seat function centre is ridiculous."
Reflections Holiday Parks' acting CEO Cameron Tynan said the COVID-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on their parks, with temporary closures and subsequent reduction in casual staff numbers necessary for a period.
He said the park now had a complement of six staff working across the camping ground, amenities, roads and large reserve areas.
"With the increased amount of rain recently, and the increased cleaning of touch points and amenities due to COVID-19 Public Health Orders, we acknowledge that the grounds maintenance has fallen behind," he said.
"We have recently appointed a new casual employee who is currently working with the team to catch up in this area. We do have our focus areas on the central areas of the park, however, intend to maintain other parts of the reserve, including walking trails more frequently.
"To aid in grounds management, we have engaged a weeds contactor in the last week to help the team control the bitou bush."
Reflections also says it applied for grant funding through the 2021 Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF).
This application was successful, with recent notification that a grant of $280,535 has been approved for repairs to the car park area and the road surface leading to The Farm beach.
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