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Not good!

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Day, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. I know I am not one who generally believes everything in the media and apply a good dose of skepticism to certain articles, but if this is true then I am shocked. The general gist of the article is that bush fire victims left homeless are being forced to pay for sub standard caravans. It sounds as if the caravans are donated but I am not sure. Any way have a read and see if you can make sense of it. To me it sounds wrong. But I could be wrong.


  2. Code:
    HOMELESS bushfire survivors have been forced to sign draconian rent contracts worth hundreds of dollars on caravans donated by generous Victorians.
    They face weekly rents of at least $25 and the threat of losing the vans under confidential seize and enter clauses.
    The Herald Sun can reveal the Department of Human Services contracts are valid for up to six months.
    They give officials the right to enter victims' properties at any time to take the donated vans in the event of a dispute.
    Fire victims are banned from repairing, altering or improving the vans.
          Should bushfire victims have to pay rent? Post your comments below.
    Kinglake man Michael O'Meara, who lost everything on Black Saturday and almost died, has been ordered to pay $25 a week for a leaky, 30-year-old van that has no power or water.
    "To think government departments have taken advantage of us is unbelievable," Mr O'Meara said. "As if we haven't got enough on our plate."
    Bushfire reconstruction chief Christine Nixon has ordered a review after being alerted to Mr O'Meara's case.
    "He shouldn't have to pay for a leaky caravan. It's just not right," she said.
    The department is charging rents on the vans even though more than $350 million of public money was donated to the bushfire appeal.
    Ms Nixon said she would investigate whether money from the bushfire fund could be made available to Mr O'Meara and others so they did not have to pay rent.
    The department has confirmed more than 80 van rental contracts have been signed.
    Rental repayments might, in some cases, eventually exceed the value of the van. Rent depends on the size of the van and is used to cover costs such as maintenance.
    Caravan contracts seen by the Herald Sun contain clauses in which:
    FIRE victims are banned from repairing the vans or making any addition or alteration.
    VANS must not be shifted without the approval of the head of the department.
    THEY can be taken back if any contract clause is breached.
    SURVIVORS may have to surrender vans if the department "reasonably forms the opinion that the renter has suitable alternative accommodation".
    A department spokesman said most vans were donated.
    He said the Government had been open about the decision just after the fires struck.
    Less than a month after Black Saturday, the Government announced plans to charge rent for temporary accommodation in makeshift villages in bushfire zones.
    But there was no mention that survivors living outside the villages would be hit with fees for leaky, ageing vans.
    Ms Nixon was unaware those outside the villages could be liable for rent. 
  3. fair dinkum
  4. doesnt really say which government is enforcing it, but if its state, it seems to me that Brumby is doing his utmost to get voted out at the next election.
  5. $25 per week.
    80 contracts signed.

    So a government department is "making" $2000 per week in rent?

    Forgive me for not believing for a single second that that $2k covers land, power, waste disposal, regulation and sanitation for 80+ families a week.

    - This country has a grand history of abuse of public housing.
    - People treat free stuff like shit.
    - $25/week is not a lot of money for a place to live.

    /not surprised the whingers don't have any friends or family willing to offer them accomodation.

    //betting real dollars some of these people spend more than $25/week on cigarettes... jus' sayin's all.
  6. I think you will find mate these vans are on the fire victims private properties, on which the victims pay rates. Part of the rates they pay go towards disaster funding. I would hardly call them whingers, there is no way this is an abuse of public housing.

    If people donated vans to help out others I don't think they'd expect those people to be charged rent on their generosity.
  7. Why not? It's her job to know what's going on, FFS.

    I don't know if the affected property owners are continuing to pay rates and service charges or not, but even if they aren't, the regular services probably aren't available to them.

    $25 a week is not a lot of money, but there is something repugnant about a government department using the generosity and compassion of private citizens (the donors) to bolster it's own budget.

    The conditions about removal are fair enough but those about repair or alteration is just belligerent. I'd like to see those department officials try and live up there right now in the mud and ash and freezing cold. This is slowly starting to look like yet another failure to deliver a proper response in a time of emergency.
  8. I suspect that if there wasn't a rent being charged then the government would have trouble enforcing various conditions like the ability to restrict use, repairs, shifting and the ability to reclaim the vans at some point.