DUES CLEARED: Affordable Accommodation owner Robert Smith has settled his rates bill with the council.
DUES CLEARED: Affordable Accommodation owner Robert Smith has settled his rates bill with the council. Luka Kauzlaric

Caravan park owner settles council rates to avoid sell off

THE residents who feared the council would sell their caravan park from under them breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as they found out the owner of the park had settled his rates bill.

Affordable Accommodation Gladstone was listed with 50 other properties in December that were to be auctioned off if the owners didn't pay their outstanding rates.

JUST IN: Council set to auction off seven homes

It left the eight permanent residents at the caravan park uncertain of where they would live.

But when they found out owner Robert Smith was one of 43 owners to pay their rates, it restored their security.

Seven property owners still have to pay their rates and their properties are set to be auctioned on April 28.

Resident Garry Jeynes said Mr Smith gave every Joe a go when accommodation prices went through the roof during the construction boom.

Mr Smith kept the residents' rates at $200 a week including electricity, prices Mr  Jeynes said were impossible to find in Gladstone at the time.

If prices went up it would have forced an age pensioner, a single father, a young labourer and Mr Jeynes out of Gladstone.

He said now the town was going through a downturn, Mr Smith was still helping the residents.

"I was laid off on November 20 and I am behind on rent," he said.

"I am two months behind and he said not to worry about it.

"I start work next month and he knows I will catch up.

"He's a good bloke and this is a good place to live."

Mr Smith said it was a good news story for a town without much good news.

"I have sorted it out with the banks and it settled last month," he said.

"The people that live there are lovely people and I would have hated to see them being forced out."


He said the place was still up for sale but it was good for the residents to not have an auction deadline hanging over their heads.

"A lot of people are doing it tough in Gladstone at the moment and people need some certainty."

Glenn Morris moved into the park two months ago and said it was a good community.

"I'm glad it's not being auctioned because everyone is nice here," he said.

"I looked at some (other places) but they're not like this."

Mr Morris moves out in a couple of weeks but said it was a good place for people looking for a new home.

What they owed

December 11, 2015

Number of properties going to auction

52

Total rates owed

$596,773

March 28, 2016

Number of properties going to auction

7

Total rates owed

$103,641



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