Banora Point Caravan Park residents fighting for their right to enjoy quiet lives.
Banora Point Caravan Park residents fighting for their right to enjoy quiet lives.

Owner absent from tribunal

By DARREN COYNE

NOTHINGsuprises the Banora Point caravan park residents anymore, and yesterday was no exception.

They had fronted a NSW Tenancy Tribunal yesterday to complain about the actions of the park owner ... but he didn't bother to show up.

Residents spokesman Len Hogg said the owner, Warren Tschannen, had attempted on a number of occasions to adjourn the matter and on the day of the tribunal his representatives told the tribunal member, Ms Miller, that he was "on holiday".

The residents had lodged claims against Mr Tschannen for what they claim is a loss of their right to the quiet enjoyment of life.

The maximum payout to each of the 19 residents is $10,000 if the tribunal finds in their favour.

After hearing representations, Ms Miller refused a request from Mr Tschannen's representatives for a further adjournment, heard all submissions from the residents, and reserved her decision. She did allow Mr Tschannen two weeks to provide a summery of his case to the tribunal.

During the hearing, a 75-year-old resident told the tribunal that that he had been unable to use the ablutions block because it had been locked since last year. He had been given a key to an ensuite site, but when he returned from the tribunal yesterday, the lock had been changed.

Mr Hogg said he would lodge an urgency motion with the tribunal this morning if the resident was not given a key by staff at the park.

And a caravan park owner subpoenaed by Mr Tschannen drove seven hours to be at yesterday's hearing only to be told by the representatives that he was not required as a witness.

"He and the member were not impressed," Mr Hogg said last night.

Yesterday's tribunal hearing is the latest in around 700 hearings in the past seven years related to concerns about the park.

Most recently the park has been subject to police raids, moves by the State Government to appoint an administrator, and attempts by the Tweed Shire Council to recover around $200,000 in outstanding rates and court ordered costs.

Mr Hogg said residents had accepted that they may have lost their battle to live quiet lives in the park, but hoped their actions might help protect the rights of other residents.



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