Protesters fight eviction notice
“DON’T evict Keith!”
This was the chant of about 15 protesters as they made their feelings about the eviction of pensioner Keith List from the Finemore Holiday Park known, outside Bundaberg Regional Council offices yesterday morning.
The protesters, all members of social group Oldies Angels, drew together in support for Mr List who was recently given three months’ notice to leave the caravan park, which has been his home for the past 16 months.
Mr List had been seeking fixed residence in the park since he arrived there, but was only recently told no permanent sites were available and he would have to move by March 7.
“I want to live in a caravan. I’m happy in the caravan. It gives me a lot of freedom,” he said.
Mr List said he needed to live in Finemore Holiday Park on Quay Street because he had just received heart surgery and needed to be close to the hospital.
The protesters carried signs supporting Mr List, one proclaiming: “Sleep well, madam, because you won’t let me.”
Oldies Angels president and founder James Parkes said he planned the protest after the council refused to overturn its decision during meetings with Mr List on Friday.
“You don’t do this sort of thing to a chap who is just recovering from a heart operation,” he said.
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the matter was discussed at a meeting of councillors after the protest.
Cr Pyefinch said councillors decided unanimously to uphold the decision and reaffirmed the council’s policy.
She said Mr List had been given three months to find a place to live, despite holiday spots having a maximum stay of 42 days.
“At the end of the day there are only a limited number of spaces,” she said.
Cr Pyefinch said the matter was one of social housing and thought Mr List’s problem would be best dealt with on a state level.
She said the council had been in contact with Bundaberg Housing Services and Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey.
Mr Dempsey said he was happy to help Mr List fill out applications to the housing commission.