Targinnie couple stay in limbo after buyout
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
JUST like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Nesta and Paul Lenz believe there is no place quite like home, and for them home is the Gladstone area.
After being forced off their Targinnie property by the state government's land buy-out, the local couple moved to Thangool to try to resurrect their rural lifestyle.
However while they could change their address, leaving behind their lives just wasn't as easy.
'It just wasn't home,' Mrs Lenz said.
Despite taking a lot of time to finalise, the move lasted only six months for the Lenzes. After living in Targinnie since 1947 the local couple couldn't bear to leave behind the most important part of their life ? their friends and family ? and decided they had to return to the area.
But now they are floating between their three children's homes trying to decide on a plan of attack and find a new property, one that they won't be forced to leave this time.
'It wasn't our decision to leave Targinnie,' Mrs Lenz said.
'The government said we could go now, or go in a couple of years, but in the end we still had to go.'
The Lenzes are just two of many Yarwun/Targinnie residents who have been forced to leave under the Gladstone State Development Area buyout.
The scheme was launched in 2002 after the area was nominated as a future industrial area, with the State Development set to buy nearly 200 properties in the area to be used as future industrial sites.
To date 109 of the properties have been bought and 16 of the houses destroyed, leaving the area as a virtual ghost town.
For the Lenzes the buy-out led not only to the disruption of their lives, but the whole community where they spent more than 50 years.
Today Mrs Lenz refuses to go back to the area, with the experience leaving a bad taste in her mouth.
'Nothing's the same now, you can't look back,' she said.
'When you've lived in one place for 40 years and someone comes along and says you're going ? what can you do?'
The local couple said a lot of the community had sold their properties to the state government.
Talking to the Lenzes it is clear the experience has taken its toll.
'The thing that still annoys me is that a whole community has been taken away through this,'