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Narrabundah caravan saga continues

By Kerces 15 May 2006 20

The residents of the Narrabundah longstay caravan park are meeting with the ACT Council of Social Service tonight to work out where to next, the ABC reports.

Last week the 200 or so residents received eviction notices after the park was sold by Koomarri to then undisclosed owners. This prompted bipartisan outrage from our local pollies.

On Friday I went and talked to Vicki Dunne and Deb Foskey and both had plenty to say about the matter.

UPDATE Deb Foskey has a new release up saying that what happens next with the caravn park residents will reflect on the values held by Canberrans. She also says that new owner Josip Zivko must be aware of the critical shortage of low-cost housing in the ACT due to his various professional roles.

Mrs Dunne basically said if Koomarri had decided they didn’t want the caravan park anymore, then why not give it back to the government considering it had been given to them in the first place (I vaguely recall hearing somewhere they paid the nominal amount of $1 for the land).

Dr Foskey said she suspected the deal had been cooked up between Koomarri and the new owners possibly as far back as November because that was when Dytin Pty Ltd, the new owners, was formed. Also in November, the residents were asked to sign new leases which included clauses that there could be no more than four people per residence and that they couldn’t form any kind of residents’ group. Not all residents signed these leases, which is why some have been asked to leave in August and some in November.

At the time I talked to Dr Foskey she said both the Greens and the government were working on finding out who was behind Dytin Pty Ltd. They must have discovered this later on Friday afternoon because The Canberra Times ran a story on Saturday saying the park had been bought by “prominent Canberra development company” Consolidated Builders Limited. CBL’s managing director is Josip Zivko, who says he was not aware of the residents’ circumstances. However this doesn’t mean he will let them stay where they are, and he has warned that they must not get behind in their rent.

Planning Minister Simon Corbell is still saying he will use his call in powers if needed to prevent and change of land use on the lease.

What’s Your opinion?

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20 Responses to
Narrabundah caravan saga continues
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erewego 3:30 pm 17 May 06

how did my serious comments regarding having the drafter of the leases shot for pushing illegal conditions, degenerate into an racist slag-off?

Mr Evil 9:38 am 17 May 06

No, I’d have to agree with vg on this one – the Eastern European types are pretty dodgy.

Thumper 9:26 am 17 May 06

Neither do six foot genetically modified gerkins….

simto 8:42 am 17 May 06

You’re ethnically profiling again, VG.

I’ve known shonky builders of English, Italian, Swedish and South African origin – disreputable behaviour knows no nationality.

vg 10:07 pm 16 May 06

Another of Zivko’s companies, Livno Homes, built my first place. I hope their after sales work has improved. Funny how builders of his ilk only get their asses into gear when threats of legal action are made….like many builders of Eastern European origin

Kerces 5:18 pm 16 May 06

I think it was a total of $100,000 in rent. As in, that’s what all the amounts owed put together comes to.

Mr Evil 5:01 pm 16 May 06

Well, if it’s true that some of these losers owe $100 000 in overdue rents, I’d imagine that the developer won’t have much trouble clearing them out then, will he?

Of course it won’t be the tenant’s fault the rent is overdue; it’s society’s fault – again!

Roland GRNS 4:20 pm 16 May 06

Once again don’t know the details about the poeple involved, the legal situiation, or the arguments being made, Special K and so you are making unfair presumptions about people you know nothing about.

Special G 3:38 pm 16 May 06

I read in the CT today that the residents were $100,000 dollars behind in payments. It’s no wonder Koomari wanted to get rid of it.

It would also seem based on this the reason more long stay parks are not being opened. They are not a viable business. Hence the shortage Roland is referring to.

They may not be caravans although they would still be easily moved.

The developer paid good money for it as they saw potential. Not as a caravan park though. If I had the cash I would do something similar. To then have the Govt jump up and down because people who aren’t paying their rent are hard done by is crap.

If the Govt felt they were so hard done by why did they sell it in the first place and why don’t they set aside some land for another park.

Cheap accomodation that will fix the lack of public housing problem.

I would think that having something in their lease agreement that banned a residents association would be against the Residential Tenancies Act, and subsequently make their lease invalid and place them on a periodic tenancy. Which is better for the developer.

erewego 1:35 pm 16 May 06

is there something similar to the residential tenancy Act that limits rent increases in the park? And, should the previous leases be found to include provisions which they are not entitled to impose (ie trying to ban resident’s group) does this render them entirely invalid, and if not is there any come back on the proposer? Are there any penalties for willfully impinging on the rights of association of others?

Roland GRNS 10:36 am 16 May 06

there are almost no free spaces in other long stay parks anywhere in th Canberras region (Yass to the coast).

they might be called caravans, but that’s not what they are.

The developer was not compelled to buy the site.

johnboy 10:32 am 16 May 06

Slow down G, the developer has speculated that they can change the land use.

Special G 10:28 am 16 May 06

Roland, If most of the residents already own their caravan/etc then they should have no problem moving to one of the other caravan parks around Canberra. Its one of the things about caravans – they are mobile.

The closure of the park is something any resident in a caravan park must face. If they don’t like it go and purchase a house where someone else can’t pull the rug out from under you.

The owner of the land is well within his rights to increase the rent on his site.

The Govt. using call in powers to keep the site as a caravan park is lumping a developer with a site that he then has to do something with. If the Govt does that I would expect them to reimburse the developer.

Roland GRNS 9:37 am 16 May 06

It will continue to evolve

Thumper 6:58 pm 15 May 06

Okay, time for my happy pills….

Thumper 6:57 pm 15 May 06


I think most of us are actually, yes really, with you on this one.

The whole thing stinks. We have a charity willing to put people on the streets for profit, a government who could probably do something but as yet hasn’t, and an impotent opposition who can’t do anything anyway.

Why should these people be at the mercy of big business? We already have a housing crisis and these people are not likely to be able to afford the costs of moving their abodes from the current site to wherever they can go, probably no-where now.

I’m not a great one for people living in caravan parks but if that’s how they want to live then so be it, I’ll stand by their decision.

Surely our great leader can do something with his Bill of Rights? Or s it going to proven at this stage that it is in fact a Bill of Stanhope’s ideals, and nothing more.

Yes, I am angry about this, and I’m even more angry at the silence from Mr Stanhope. We’ve heard some mutterings from Corbell but he’s proven to be as reliable as a stoat guarding a pen full of disbaled chickens.

Mr Stanhope, et al, this is a chance to prove that your ideology has merit. Thus far it’s all been airy fairy bullshit that no-one really cares about. It’s time to stand up and be a leader.

Mr Evil, sadly what you say is very, very true.

Mr Evil 6:04 pm 15 May 06

I can almost see what’s going to happen next:

Developer will commit to keeping the site as a caravan park – within six months the rent will double/triple – tenants will either ship-out of their own accord or default on rent and be evicted – developer will build several hundred ‘horrible’ houses on the site once the last tenant leaves.

Welcome to the real world of rental accomodation.

Roland GRNS 5:13 pm 15 May 06

Most of the residents own their own vans/houses and gardens.

Clearly it is easy to be contemptous of people yuou know nothing about. You can always pretend that is wit.

Special G 2:13 pm 15 May 06

Maybe if they don’t leave there will be some rioting in the ghetto. Should make for a good news story.

I must say though I like the idea of the caravan park and its location away from other things. ACT Housing should take note and build more. This would releave the waiting lists/ provide more housing and help get some crap out of the suburbs.

They should have a promotion system. 1st ACT Housing site is a caravan out the back of no-where. If you can show that you maintain it in good condition you get upgraded to a flat, then house, etc…

Ari 11:13 am 15 May 06

How can a clause that they not form a residents’ group be legal?

Even the Feds haven’t managed to ban unions altogether.

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