Sundale offers help for Woombye park tenants
SUNDALE has committed to finding solutions to meet the individual housing needs of Woombye Caravan Park tenants who have been served notices to quit their sites within two months.
Sundale CEO Glenn Bunney said he took responsibility for the failure to provide the tenants, all age pensioners, with the support they needed when they were served notices under the Rental Tenancy Act on October 14.
The notices left the seven tenants, aged into their 80s, with nowhere to turn because they carried the contact number for an Australian Tourist Park Management employee who was on leave and not due to return for a week.
"I fully accept there was a stuff-up and I take responsibility for that,'' Mr Bunney said.
"It's not what Sundale is about. In this one we dropped the ball. We will fix it."
Sundale, a not-for-profit aged-care provider, has held discussions with the Department of Housing.
The department will have an officer at the park on Thursday following a specific request from a tenant.
A Housing spokesman said discussions would be held with all tenants with an officer available to speak to tenants individually.
"At the end of the day the legislation says "x y z" and we needed to do that,'' Mr Bunney said.
"We met a couple of tenants yesterday and Sundale will see everyone by next week.
"We will find a solution. Every one has different needs.
"The rules say we have got to give two months (notice) but if it takes longer (to find solutions) I won't give a rat's.
"Since we bought the park (in 2014) we invested to fix things and kept the rent below market rates."
A former tenant, who has stepped in to provide the men with support, said they had taken the news badly with some suicidal.
"These are 80-year-old people who are no trouble to anyone,'' Yana Vonta said.
"They're so stressed, I said I would try to help. How ruthless can it be to force them out just before Christmas?''
The tenants live in either motorhomes or caravans that haven't moved in cases for up to 16 years.
They occupy the upper level of the Woombye Caravan Park which sits off the left-hand side of the Nambour Connection Rd, north of the Big Pineapple.
The area is set to be redeveloped as one and two bedroom cabins.
Nicklin MP Peter Welllington was furious about the way the tenants had been advised they would lose their sites.
He said the decision to issue formal eviction notices before sitting down with residents to discuss alternatives represented a lack of compassion for, or understanding of, the people affected.
"It's deplorable,'' he said.