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Longstay caravan park: who knew what?

By Kerces 17 May 2006 11

The bickering continues over who knew what when about the Narrabundah longstay caravan park.

Yesterday this ad appeared in the Canberra Times:

Koomarri ad

In this letter Koomarri says they did not know the new owners would evict the residents. President John Mackay says the organisation’s understanding of the sale contract was that it sold the caravan park as a gong concern and that there is a purpose clause in the lease that restricts this. He also says the controversy has “unfairly damaged” Koomarri’s reputation and that he takes personal responsibility for the “unforseen outcomes”.

In response to this, Josip Zivko, new owner of a caravan park, told the Canberra Times that of course Koomarri knew the tenants would be evicted. He said he asked the organisation’s solicitors to tell the residents about this in February when the sale was being discussed. He also said he has evidence that Koomarri knew (presumably minutes of meetings or similar).

Mr Zivkos says 65 per cent of the park’s tenants are behind with thier rent, and it would not be viable to let the other regular payers remain. He is happy to meet with the residents to discuss the situation.

The Canberra Times put it to Mr Mackay that he possibly could have guessed what was going to happen from the name of the new owners — Consolidated Builders Limited (as suggested by Big Al elsewhere). However the Koomarri president said “the key issue was that the lease purpose clause could not be changed without approval” and that “the name of the company is irrelevant”.

Mr Zivko said, “What we [Consolidated Builders Ltd] do is we invest in property. That is what our business is about, and the day we buy a block of land is not necessarily the same day we know what is going to happen.”

The ABC is carrying more comments from Greens MLA Deb Foskey, this time saying the cost of the caravan park’s closure will be borne by ACT taxpayers. She wants the government to do a cost-benefit analysis for the ACT community of selling the land (one would think it may be too late for this?).

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11 Responses to
Longstay caravan park: who knew what?
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Pandy 12:23 am 19 May 06


President: Mr John Mackay

Secretary: Mr Tony Howkins

Treasurer: Mr Len Early

Ms Dianne van Meegen
Mr Daniel Pask
Mr Frank Pangallo MBE
Mr Max Smith
Mr Robert Clynes
Ms Patricia Bergin
Mr John Braddon
Ms. Sherry Pullen

Indi 8:50 pm 17 May 06

tallian = what utopia are you drifting in and out of?

the Govt will just give the impression they are looking for solutions, so it will just be more productive to instigate a legislative change to avoid this problem in future…sadly, the lot at Narrabundah LSCP are left to fend for themselves or fall onto the govvie housing waiting list.

seepi 8:46 pm 17 May 06

Koomarri look bad because they have shafted one ‘in need’ sector of hte community, in order to concentrate on their preferred ‘in need’ sector of disbled people. It makes sense to them, but not to us as donors to charity, who believe both are worthy causes. I won’t be giving them any money in the forseeable future.

tallian 7:59 pm 17 May 06

I’d also add that buying it back for $2m odd is likely to prove cheaper than rehousing the tenants. The govt might also want to consider recouping the money off Koomarri, eg reduce whatever grants they get and let them pay it back over a few years.

tallian 7:51 pm 17 May 06

I would have thought the Govt could tell the developer he’s stuck with the current lease purpose clause as a caravan park, and no way we’re ever going to change it. So he’s got a white elephant. Then, we’re nice guys so we’ll offer to buy it off you for what you paid. Then find someone to run it as a caravan park (really core government business that!!! ..think I’d contract it to a private operator then pay them rent subsidies to cover the welfare tenancies).

areaman 5:24 pm 17 May 06

Why are Koomari copping it? Because they got a profit making asset for free from the government, seemingly in a sweet heart deal as it’s well out side of their area of key competency. They then turned it into a massive loss maker, re-wrote there tenancy agreement to to remove the tenants rights and then sold it to a developer who, surprise, surprise, want’s to develop it all for a massive profit.

Plus their shop in Phillip is way over priced.

erewego 4:45 pm 17 May 06

I dont see why Koomari are copping it over selling an assett: the tennants should be looked after by the leasing arrangements. Also ACT planning should have addressed the lack of low cost housing options in the ACT a decade ago. In this instance, some security of tenure should have been arranged, ……ok, by Koomari & Planning PRIOR to the sale. Well its not like it was not flagged at the time it was sold to Koomari. A frowny face and a punch in the face for all involved

VYBerlinaV8 4:26 pm 17 May 06

Nice try. Possibly genuine, buy who really cares?

Thumper 2:20 pm 17 May 06

Koomari have lost my respect over this fiasco.

Chris S 2:06 pm 17 May 06

Far too little, far too late, Mr Mackay.

areaman 1:03 pm 17 May 06

If they didn’t want to run it they could have given it back to the ACT government. I don’t care what they say Koomarri has lost what ever goodwill they had with me.

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