NEW VAN PARK CRISIS

By MADELEINE DOHERTY

IT'S lock-down at the notorious Banora Point Caravan Park as staff vanish and facilities fail.

Tweed MP Neville Newell made an urgent call to the Minister for Fair Trading, Diane Beamer, this week for an administrator to be appointed to run the controversial park while park residents spokesman Len Hogg said the place had been abandoned.

"The new manager has never been seen ? we call him 'Casper' ? the caretaker was sacked last week, staff are leaving in droves, the ablutions block is still locked, the boom gates don't work nor do 75 per cent of the street lighting. We are literally in the dark," Mr Hogg said.

It's no surprise that the residents have welcomed Mr Newell's move for an administrator.

New legislation allows an administrator to be appointed where the well-being or financial security of park residents is at at risk or the park owner contravenes an order of the tribunal.

So concerned was Mr Newell about the plight of the park residents that he took his concerns to Sydney calling for the appointment of an administrator as a matter of urgency.

Mrs Beamer said yesterday that Mr Newell had put a strong case forward on behalf of park residents and she had agreed to visit the park next week to meet with residents.

"The NSW parliament passed laws late last year to strengthen the rights of people who choose to make residential parks their home," Mrs Beamer said.

"Under the new laws, Fair Trading has greater powers to apply to the Supreme Court for the appointment of an administrator if the actions of a park owner seriously threaten the well being of residents," she said.

The provision to make such an application came into force earlier this month and Mrs Beamer is investigating if there is scope for its use in the Banora Point caravan park.

Mr Hogg said that with 21 owner renters on site and about 74 families renting the atmosphere was not good.

"Those who need supervising are unsupervised and the rest of us just lock ourselves in and hope for the best," he said.



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