Man claims decision was discrimination

NO JOY: Leo Karnauchow has failed in his attempt to turn sheds into housing units.
NO JOY: Leo Karnauchow has failed in his attempt to turn sheds into housing units. Max Fleet

A MOORE Park Beach man's attempt to get approval to turn sheds on his property into housing units has failed.

And the man, Leo Karnauchow, claimed Bundaberg Regional Council was discriminating against him because of his German background.

The decision by the council's planning and development committee yesterday is the latest development in a saga that has been running for more than a year.

The committee was told the application went against several building codes.

Mr Karnauchow was issued a show cause notice last year for the alleged unlawful use of the land after allowing people to live in his sheds at his property in Bangalow St.

A Planning and Environment Court order in August directed him to apply for permission to turn his sheds into housing units.

The committee was told that people had been living in Mr Karnauchow's shed for some time.

But Mr Karnauchow, a candidate for mayor in this year's elections, said after the decision he had allowed homeless people, who had no other accommodation, to live in his sheds.

He said there were sometimes only two or three people living there.

Mr Karnauchow said the committee's decision was unfair, and it was "because my name is Leo Karnauchow and I'm not an Aussie, I'm from Germany".

"I feel it's a bit of discrimination,' he said.

Mr Karnauchow said he was unsure what his next move would be, but he would probably try to have a meeting with the mayor or one of the councillors.

"I feel it's discrimination, I may have to take it to the discrimination court," he said.

"I may have to get in touch with the State Government about discrimination."

Mr Karnauchow said there had been not one complaint from any of his neighbours.

But committee chairman Ross Sommerfeld said the complaint had come from people living in Mr Karnauchow's sheds.

Cr Sommerfeld said the sheds were not approved for residential use.

"He can have homeless people in his house if he wants, that's his call," he said.

Cr Sommerfeld rejected any suggestions of discrimination against Mr Karnauchow.

"That's not right, we don't play the man, just the ball," he said.

Cr Sommerfeld said when the council received a complaint it had to follow it up.

"We found the buildings were being used as residences, and they're not approved for that," he said.

A report to the council said construction and alterations to the sheds had been carried out without approval.

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