ARPQ has members throughout the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay. One of our members at Hervey Bay sent the writer an email today showing the obvious disparity of the site fee legislation by this State Labor Government. Section 70 (3) (a) of the Manufactured Homes Residential Parks Act informs park operators that all they have to do to get a site fee increase, is to compare what other parks are charging in any undefined area known as the locality. Also, check the index/dictionary at the back of the Act under “market revues” and it will confirm that a market revue (site fee increase) is established by looking at what other residential parks are charging. Its called comparing. Rather quaint really.
According to the government, we live under an open market economy based on competition. However, according to the State Labor Government legislation that applies to residential parks, comparing prices establishes preferred cartel conditions. Park operators are licensed to fix site fees accordingly with their competitors. This is no doubt to reward park operators for allocating their land for housing use. That’s the system.
The following is an example: A home owner living in an older residential park got talking to a resident living in one of the newer up market parks in the same area. The home owner living in the newer park was explaining all the luxury facilities the home owners in the newer park enjoyed. The home owner in the older park was absolutely amazed at such luxury and enquired about the site fees in the newer park. The home owner from the newer park with all its facilities advised the home owners paid $860.00 per month. The home owner in the older park with very little facilities replied that home owners in his park also paid $860.00 per month. Naturally, the home owner in the older park realised that home owners in his park were being ripped off.
How could this happen? It happened and happens throughout the industry because under the Labour Government Legislation, you know, the party that looks after the little guy, allows park operators to compare site fees free of any justification. Its a bit like comparing the price of a Holden with that of a Rolls Royce based purely on the fact that both vehicles have wheels. Obviously a well thought out system.