Pensioner says caravan park residents are being ripped off
A TWEED pensioner who believes vulnerable caravan park residents are being ripped off with illegal and exorbitant power bills is planning to take the plight to Parliament.
Australian Residential Parks Association vice-president for Tweed Ken Cummins, a resident at Colonial Tweed Caravan Park in Tweed Heads, said more than 20,000 people living in land lease communities were being unknowingly overcharged by park operators.
Mr Cummins said caravan park operators across the Tweed were charging residents around 10c/kWh and selling it at 31c/kWh, despite legislation stating operators must only charge residents what they pay.
"These park managers are driving around in their Mercedes Benzes and BMWs and ripping pensioners off left right and centre," Mr Cummins said.
"I've been vice-president of ARPRA for 11 years and it's my job to stop that and look after these people."
Mr Cummins said the park operators were charging three times the amount they should by using a loophole in the legislation.
"A lot of these pensioners have husbands or wives who have died and their cost of living just keeps going up. They can't afford it," he said.
"These operators are just ripping the pensioners off. They've got no sense of guilt about them whatsoever.
"I'm a stickler for the pensioners, they've paid their bloody dues and now they've been left for dead."
Mr Cummins said he had created a petition with the hope of gaining 10,000 signatures to have the issue heard in Parliament.
"Anyone can sign it within NSW and we already have 3000 signatures. We've got plenty of time to get 10,000," he said.
But a Colonial Tweed Caravan Park spokeswoman said residents were not being overcharged and had not taken into account off-peak and on-peak charges, renewable energy charges and supply and meter charges.
"As electricity on-sellers, our bill is broken down differently to how we're billed at home. It's not just based on kilowatt hours," she said. "Residents have the option if they want to go directly to an electricity company, but it would be more expensive. We charge a much better rate."
To sign the petition email Moo21@live.com.au