Queensland’s housing minister has attacked the Gold Coast City Council over plans to evict elderly residents from a council-owned caravan park.
Mick de Brenni has met with permanent residents of the Kirra Beach Tourist Park, who’ve been told they will have to move out to make way for tourists.
The council has given them 10 years’ notice, but the minister says people who’ve called the park home for years are distressed.
“All the residents I met were elderly pensioners, and they’re desperately worried about where they’re going to live in the future,” de Brenni said.
“Many don’t have much family around at all, and there are limited options for them to move – they just deserve some security over where they’re going to live.”
Residents were experiencing “crippling anxiety” with many having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into their homes, he said.
He also questioned the council’s motives, suggesting the caravans could be eliminated to make way for a future development.
“Is this about making the park more profitable, or is there some other motivation?” de Brenni asked.
“Is this about developing this land into something completely different? Do they have plans for a shopping centre, or something else?”
The Gold Coast City Council rejected the minister’s suggestions, and said the decision was about growing the tourism industry.
“The park will be returned to a true tourist park as its name suggests,” a council spokesperson told AAP.
“This will also allow the site, in the long term, to be made potentially available for the benefit of other community uses.”
The spokesperson said no resident would be forced out before 10 years.
The decision is a part of a broader policy across all council-managed tourist parks to phase out permanent residents.Do you have an idea for a story?
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