Unsuspecting victims of council price hike
“I am just so upset . . . I can’t live on the street . . . I just can’t.”
Another resident, Rita Redpath, said she was devastated by the news.
“I live at the park too and we’re pensioners and we cannot afford this outrageous jump in rent,” Ms Redpath said.
“I’m on a fixed income so where do I get the extra money from, I’m retired.”
Documentation obtained by the Gazette confirms the price hike, which has been articulated to the residents via the park’s caretaker.
The documents show that lower rates for permanent residents, or travelers staying longer than 28 days, will not apply as has happened previously.
Secretary Manager of the Mossman Memorial Bowls Club, Kevin Rynne, said he was shocked at the proposed increase which he believes will also have a negative impact on nearby clubs and businesses.
“Quite a few grey nomads who come up here every year, are both members and supporters of the club.
“It could be very detrimental to the club and the wider community will also miss out on their spending.
The owner of the petrol station at Wonga Beach, Kathy Jordison, said the increase would also hit her business hard.
“I was stunned when I was told of the increase especially when the people living there are elderly and have no access to any more money to pay the increase,” Ms Jordison said.
“Also there are many regular campers who come from as far away as Western Australia and have been staying here every year and the worst thing is the Council didn’t even contact them to tell them of the increase which is pretty poor.
There is, however, a ray of hope for Ms Day and Ms Redpath.
Yesterday Division 10 councillor, Julia Leu, moved the rent increase be put on hold until a review of the rents and others charges were looked at during next week’s meeting.
“I’m very happy the councillors have put these proposed charges on hold because there is no way these people can afford to pay the unrealistic price hikes being touted,” Cr Leu said.
“People still need to pay their rents of course but I would advise they don’t pay the extra until it is all sorted out at the next meeting of Council.”
Acting chief executive officer, Bruce Gardiner, agreed that people could not be expected to pay such a high increase.
“What needs to be done now is that the issue with all of the facts will go back to council officers and they will present their findings to the Councillors at next week’s meeting,” Mr Gardiner said.
“I cannot pre-empt the outcome but it will certainly be debated at the next meeting and the councilors will have to make a decision on what fees and charges for the Wonga Beach Caravan Park will be put in place.”
New driver: Bus driver Ted Pitt was looking to his first day “of action” at the newly opened Mossman Gorge Centre.