Park laws too late for Len
New laws to protect permanent caravan park residents across NSW should offer a glimmer of hope to the likes of Lenn Hogg.
But Mr Hogg and 18 other residents of the trouble-plagued Banora Point Caravan Park fear their predicament is beyond hope.
"If this goes through it is going to give a lot more security to the residents in all the other parks. But it's too late to save us," said Mr Hogg.
An estimated 4000 people live permanently in 36 caravan parks across the Tweed but the number in the Banora Point park has dwindled from 147 nine years ago. Neither Tweed Shire Council or the NSW Government were able to stop conditions deteriorating.
Proposed laws announced on Thursday by NSW Fair Trading Minister Diane Beamer would allow her department to apply to the Supreme Court to appoint an administrator "if the actions of the park owner seriously threaten the well-being of residents".
Mr Hogg who yesterday was at Murwillumbah courthouse before the Residential Tenancy Tribunal arguing for the removal of a dying gum tree beside his relocatable home, said Banora Point residents had recommended the move ? without approval from a judge.
He said the last Supreme Court battle over conditions in the park ran from 2002 to late 2004, adding: "Two years is a long time at this end of your life span."
Ms Beamer's proposals would prevent park owners terminating the tenancies of residents on the grounds of redevelopment until they have development approval and affected residents will have to be given 12 months notice.
Banora Point Caravan Park owner Warren Tschannen said he had offered to pay the relocation costs of the remaining 19 permanent residents "to the park of their dreams" and had assisted over 50 others.
Making business more difficult for park owners he said would simply discourage them from spending money on the parks.
If the government wanted to make parks part of the housing sector, he felt it should provide a financial incentive to owners.