This was the headlines of an article published in the Sunday Mail dated 9 July 2017 and the Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk put her name to it to authenticate the article. The article went on to assure seniors living in residential parks and retirement villages that the new laws would protect seniors. Those living in retirement villages according to the Premier “just aren’t in line with the expectations of the community”. This must indeed be complete revelation to seniors living in retirement villages seeing that this same Labor Government have been informed of this by residents of retirement villages for years. Its hardly a revelation.
Then we come to those poor souls who have succumbed to the flashy advertising of the residential parks industry. The Premier further stated “we intend to put in place a new ,staged pre-contractual disclosure process, limits on rent increases and minimum behaviour standards for park owners, staff and home owners”. The Premier further stated “she wanted the new laws to take effect before the end of the year”.
This of course has nothing to do with the coming State election even though all departments of the government have been told to prepare for the election this year. What must be understood by all Queenslanders is that the Government relies completely and absolutely on private enterprise to develop residential parks and retirement villages to lift some of the pressure off of the housing crisis. With such reliance upon private enterprise, do we or should we expect this government to actually curb the profitability of park operators?
The laws governing residential parks have included “fair trading” and “protection” for home owners since its inception in 2004 in the very objects of the legislation. Why has it taken so long for the government to recognise that all is not well? Hell, they have been told enough times over the years even though some home owners have had their lives ruined by the greed of park operators.
Does the Premier agree that under this legislation, home owners cannot even sell their own homes unless the park operator sanctions the sale? Does the Premier realise that all that is required by a park operator to increase the site fees when due under the agreement, is for the park operator to compare its site fees with any other residential parks to arrive at the increase amount? We are supposed to have an open market economy based on competition but no, the old cartel method is so much easier even though it is illegal.
The point being made here is that the government will not seek to stop park operators from ripping off pensioners. The writer was told back in 2010 that “the government will not place any legislative obstacles in the paths of park operators and developers because they (park operators and developers) would stop building these parks”. Nothing has changed and will not change.