Peter Cooper has been forced onto the streets after a caravan he had paid to stay in was uninhabitable.
Peter Cooper has been forced onto the streets after a caravan he had paid to stay in was uninhabitable. Scottie Simmonds

Dispute leaves man homeless

BEING homeless and sleeping on the streets was not the way Peter Cooper imagined his welcome to Bundaberg.

The former Hobart man moved to the rum city at the end of last month to be closer to his nine-year-old daughter.

But after troubles with Bundaberg Park Lodge, Mr Cooper said he ended up spending about a week on the streets.

Mr Cooper had been staying at the caravan park for about 10 days in temporary accommodation while he waited for a permanent slot to open up.

"I was told that number 67 was free and I went to have a look at it," he said.

But before signing the lease, Mr Cooper was told that van had been taken but another one was available for rent.

Later, the father signed the lease before going out to dinner.

When he returned to move back in, he was shocked by what he found.

"There were cockroaches on the floor, holes in the wall of the van and frog faeces on the floor," he said.

Mr Cooper said there was also a large, uninhabited ants' nest in the annexe to the van which had cockroach bodies lying on top of it.

Before moving in, Mr Cooper confronted the park manager.

"She started screaming at the top of her lungs," he said.

Mr Cooper said during that conversation he was told to get out and he left the park.

Despite never moving into the van, Mr Cooper was denied his bond and the rent he had paid in advance.

Mr Cooper had his bond returned to him yesterday and had also found another home with the help of Bundaberg Regional Housing.

Bundaberg Park Lodge owner Lorraine Palmer said Mr Cooper had inspected the van two days before moving his belongings into it.

"He left pizza trays and he pulled cupboard doors off," she claimed.

Ms Palmer said she had returned the bond to him, but was keeping a week's rent for the time he had stayed and to help clean up the caravan.

Ms Palmer claimed Mr Cooper had also been to another caravan park and was asked to leave there after a number of days.

But when the NewsMail called that park, they denied having a Mr Cooper stay or kicking someone out in recent weeks.

Bundaberg Regional Council has confirmed it was investigating complaints about Bundaberg Park Lodge.



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