Caravan parks will be subject to new laws if a draft bill is passed in the NSW Parliament.
Caravan parks will be subject to new laws if a draft bill is passed in the NSW Parliament. The Northern Star Archives

Parkies nervous about caravan park legislation

A PENSIONERS and superannuants group claims draft NSW legislation on caravan and manufactured home parks will be a disaster if approved.

The Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW said the state Government's draft Residential (Land Lease) Communities Bill 2013 will negate minimum protections for residents that exist under the current Residential Parks Act 1998.

The group claims new rules will allow operators to reclassify a residential site from long-term to short-term and then evict home owners without issuing a notice of termination.

But Noble Lakside Park Kingscliff resident manager Warren Polglase said the issue has been blown out of proportion.

You'll always get people who are fearful about the issue and it's usually because they don't understand the legislation.

Mr Polglase said it would simply not make sense to put the pressure on residents living in caravan and manufactured home parks.

"What you're basically providing in this industry is affordable housing," he said.

"You'll always get people who are fearful about the issue and it's usually because they don't understand the legislation.

Mr Polglase said Tweed had a high population of caravan and manufactured park residents, so while he thought the issue was overblown, he could understand the apprehension surrounding the bill.

"It can be a contentious issue between residents and management," he said.

Affiliated Residential Park Residents Association (ARPRA) president of Tweed Broadwater Don Bennett said while the bill had some "grey areas", it was generally acceptable.

"There are parts of the bill which need looking at and they're (ARPRA) doing that," he said.

Mr Bennett said he was confident park operators in the Tweed generally looked after their residents, but ARPRA would always be available in case of conflict.

"In every business there are unscrupulous people that take advantage of older people," he said.

"Often they don't know the legal ramifications of their actions.

Read about the bill by visiting www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au and searching for the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Bill.

NSW Fair Trading's website states what will happen next regarding the bill.

It is anticipated that the Bill will be introduced to Parliament later in 2013, with the new laws (if passed) starting in 2014 once supporting Regulations have been developed.

The 2011 census data showed there was over 1500 caravans, cabins and houseboats in the Tweed.


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