Beamer backs tenants

By LUIS FELIU

NSW Fair Trading Minister Diane Beamer is backing a legal challenge by residents of the notorious Banora Point Caravan Park against their threatened eviction.

Last month park owner/operator Warren Tschannen, through his companies Blackington Pty Ltd and Caraco Pty Ltd, served permanent residents with notices of termination saying the park no longer had approval to operate.

But Tweed Shire Council officers say the park does have approval.

Ms Beamer said she would intervene in legal proceedings launched by 23 residents in the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal challenging the actions of the park owner in terminating their tenancy agreements and not complying with the Residential Parks Act.

"The park residents have rights and the owner has responsibilities, and I will do all in my power to ensure those rights are upheld and that the owner fully meets his responsibilities," Ms Beamer said.

"However, I am extremely concerned that two applicants who have subsequently withdrawn their applications may have been pressured to do so by the park owner.

"I have intervened in these proceedings to ensure the rights of these vulnerable residents are upheld," she said.

Ms Beamer said she had asked the Office of Fair Trading to ensure residents were fully informed of their rights.

Fair Trading, she said, had also informed residents that neither council nor any court had ordered the park to close.

"I have instructed Fair Trading to write to the park owners and operators, raising my concerns and warning that any threats or intimidation of residents could result in criminal charges," Ms Beamer said.

The park owner's claims that it did not have approval to operate, she said, contradicted his statements about the basis for issuing the termination notices and claiming the park must close.

Fair Trading, she said, was also waiting the hearing in August of its application in the Supreme Court to have an administrator appointed to take over the running of the park.



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