Man wins bat­tle to stay home

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JU­LIAN TOM­LIN­SON

A CARD­WELL man is breath­ing eas­ier after find­ing out he can stay in his Card­well home which had been about to be repossessed.

Wheel­chair- bound for­mer prawn farmer Sam Sci­acca was weeks away from home­less­ness when cir­cum­stances be­hind the forced sale of the home by La Trobe Fi­nan­cial changed.

But the stroke vic­tim isn’t giv­ing up on his fight to have the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment call a royal com­mis­sion into Aus­tralian bank­ing prac­tices.

The Bul­letin first high­lighted Mr Sci­acca’s plight in Fe­bru­ary.

He was one of North Queens­land’s prawn- farm­ing pi­o­neers but the op­er­a­tion at Card­well was dam­aged by Cy­clone Larry in 2006 and he had to con­trib­ute more per­sonal funds.

Mr Sci­acca claims that de­spite the farm hav­ing enough prawns to keep trad­ing and to meet loan re­pay­ments, ANZ Bank sub­sidiary Per­ma­nent Cus­to­di­ans ap­pointed re­ceivers, PPB Ad­vi­sory in 2008.

He is adamant this ap­point­ment was not only un­nec­es­sary and pre­ma­ture, but that man­age­ment prac­tices un­der the re­ceivers caused the farm to fail be­fore it was sold for a frac­tion of its worth as a go­ing con­cern.

PPB Ad­vi­sory has stood by its man­age­ment of the farm and de­nies Mr Sci­acca’s claims.

Mr Sci­acca was over­joyed at the news but is still con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against the ANZ Bank.

“I’m so happy, all I wanted to do was stay here un­til I die,” he said.

“I’ve got nowhere else to go and hav­ing to move out would have been too much to han­dle.”

Kennedy MP Bob Katter – who has in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion to force a royal com­mis­sion into fi­nan­cial ser­vices – con­grat­u­lated Mr Sci­acca on his suc­cess­ful bid to stay in Card­well.

“I think there would have been a very se­ri­ous con­fronta­tion if the bank had tried to drag Sam out of his home, and his carer out of the carer’s cot­tage,” Mr Katter said.

He thanked his chief of staff Anne Pleash, who han­dled much of the ne­go­ti­a­tions on Mr Sci­acca’s be­half.

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