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Govt asked to intervene over shocking living conditions at Windang’s Oasis Village caravan park | Illawarra Mercury


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The NSW Government has been asked to intervene in the increasingly fraught situation at Windang’s Oasis village, after interactions between the caravan park’s owner and residents reached breaking point. According to the Affiliated Residential Park Residents Association (ARPRA) body, which represents the residents, many of the elderly and frail people living in the park have reached a point of “absolute despair”. “One of the most concerning things I’ve seen in my 18 years representing residents across the state happened at this park late last year,” ARPRA CEO Gary Martin said. Read more: EPA investigates two pollution events in Illawarra waterways “We got calls to say that in six or seven of the properties, sewage was coming back up the toilet and we contacted the operator and there was no response. “Elderly residents had to go and buy porta-potties from the Kathmandu store because their sewerage system failed and the operator wouldn’t open the spare toilets in the motel so they could have basic sanitation.” “Maintenance came to a standstill, the amenities block is in disrepair and the residents lawns were growing up around their knees. To be put in this position in the later part of their life is pretty terrible, it’s a nightmare.” The lakeside residential village has been under a cloud for the past few years, after it was sold to international investors in 2018. Read more: Prepare to leave, NSW Premier tells thousands as flooding worsens In the years since, residents have repeatedly been served eviction notices by the park operator, S&Q Assets Pty Ltd, however these have been ruled as invalid by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). Mr Martin said a number of residents were now trying to sell their homes, but had been unable because the park owner would not provide buyers with appropriate paperwork. “One gentleman needs to sell his home so he can go and care for his elderly father in Queensland, and we’ve got two residents who have had to move into nursing homes but are still being kept in limbo because they can’t sell their home,” he said. Adding to the complex situation, the park for many years has not has permission to operate from Wollongong City Council due to numerous compliance issues. Since the 2018 sale, residents have approached NCAT on a number of other occasions for adjudication on whether the operator was complying with the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013. Recently, the tribunal ordered that all site fees should be paid into a special trust account, instead of to S&Q Assets, to be administered by NCAT so that maintenance can be undertaken. Wollongong MP Paul Scully told parliament last week that “enough is enough” and asked an administrator should be appointed by the NSW Supreme Court to run the Oasis Village. He said the park operator “appears to have plans to redevelop Oasis Village into a luxury golf course” and was trying to “toss out the residents”. “They want to do this by refusing to pay the residents the fair financial compensation required under law,” Mr Scully said. He said the park operator continued to flout of tribunal orders, had reneged on an agreement with Wollongong City Council to bring the park up to standard, and had issued a renewed threat to evict residents, which was grounds to warrant the court appointed administrator. “Many Oasis Village residents are elderly, frail, facing the daily challenges of battling chronic ill health,” he said. “There’s a point at which you have to say, enough is enough – these residents deserve to live with peace of mind and not have the ongoing stress that this sort of thing brings.” The Illawarra Mercury contacted S&Q Assets Pty Ltd for a response. To read more stories, download the Illawarra Mercury news app in the Apple Store or Google Play. Sign up for breaking news emails below …

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