News

$160,000 damage bill to public housing

HORROR TENANTS: Examples of damage caused to public housing in the Bundaberg region. Photo: contributed
HORROR TENANTS: Examples of damage caused to public housing in the Bundaberg region. Photo: contributed contributed

ABOUT $160,000 of damage was caused to Bundaberg's public housing properties in the past financial year and people living near the government properties say they are sick of the mess.

The region's bill is just a portion of the state's damage total of more than $5m and averages out to be about $154 per house when divided by the 1037 properties in the region. That figure drops even further when taking into account $80,000 of that damage was allegedly caused by one tenant.

And while most public housing renters are doing the right thing, those acting up are spoiling it for many.

A Millbank man who lives near a large public housing unit block said he was disgusted last month when he watched a parade of tradesmen and cleaners come to fix a property that had only been occupied for about six months.

The man, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said he believed the tenants had been evicted due to the damage.

"I was talking to one of the workers and he said you wouldn't get much change out of $8000 to $10,000 (to fix it) and they were only there six or eight months," he said.

"It's always been a bit of a problem but it's worse recently.

"The property damage we've seen is astronomical."

The man said one tenant's children had ripped the palings from his fence and when he approached their mother, he was verbally abused.

"I tried calling a couple of them to task and I've been threatened with violence," he said.

Another Bundaberg woman who lives down the road from a public housing property and also wished to remain anonymous said she was sick of seeing tradesmen called in to repair the government housing.

"We've had some good ones, but when the last lady moved out it looks like they've had to rebuild a lot of the unit inside," she said.

"The amount of rubbish that was taken away was incredible.

"There was a plasterer, a painter and the windows and five doors had to be replaced."

But it seems the government is cracking down on unruly tenants with acting Minister for Housing and Public Works Steve Dickson saying public housing was a "privilege that comes with certain responsibilities".

"The government's three strikes policy sends a clear message that people who don't respect that privilege will find themselves at risk of being evicted," he said.

"Since the policy was introduced last year, the department has issued 48 first strikes, and eight second strikes in the Bundaberg region.

"The department also issued two first final strikes to tenants in Bundaberg for severe anti-social behaviour."

Mr Dickson said tenants evicted under the Three Strikes Policy were ineligible to apply for housing support for three months.

"Tenants found to have maliciously damaged their public housing properties can be evicted under the department's anti-social behaviour policy," he said.

"The government makes every effort to recover the cost of repairs from those responsible.

"In certain cases tenants may be charged with wilful damage. Tenants with a maintenance debt applied against their name are required to enter into a repayment schedule before being eligible for any future housing assistance."



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Learner drivers given helping hand with new app

A pilot of the innovative AAMI SmartPlates app is underway with more than 100 learner drivers.

The AAMI Smartplates App pilot program will run until January 2017

Local Partners

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!