Sick pensioner evicted from park
BUNDABERG Regional mayor Lorraine Pyefinch is not happy at how Member for Burnett Rob Messenger has reacted to the eviction of a pensioner from council-owned Finemore Holiday Parks.
The notice to vacate the site by early March came just two weeks after Keith List suffered a heart attack and after he had queried a 30% rent rise at the park.
Bundaberg Regional Council chief executive officer Peter Byrne said Mr List was being asked to leave as he was occupying a holiday site which has a maximum stay of 42 days.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger called for the council to apologise for their treatment of Mr List.
“Why has council effectively given a very sick pensioner a three-month warning of an eviction just weeks before Christmas?” he said.
However, Cr Pyefinch said the matter would be more appropriately handled by the state member.
“I’m really disappointed with the Member for Burnett because it is a matter of social housing which is a state government issue,” she said.
“It’s not appropriate for people to seek permanent residence in a caravan park when they could be living in a house or unit.”
Cr Pyefinch urged Mr Messenger to help Mr List find accommodation through housing commission.
Cr Pyefinch said council understood Mr List’s predicament which is why they gave the resident three months to move.
However, Mr Messenger said Mr List had told him he did not wish to move into housing commission accommodation as he was “very happy where he is”.
Mr List said he was surprised council advised him he would need to move.
“I was very upset and stressed about it because I just didn’t think it was going to happen,” he said.
Mr List moved to the park 16 months ago and does not want to leave because of its close proximity to the hospital.
“Really, staying here is a matter of life and death,” he said.
Mr List said he liked staying at the caravan park as it was “a good quiet place to live”.
Mr Byrne said a second resident at the park was also in the same situation and had been given three months to find alternative accommodation.