Homeless after camp shop shuts

Greg Tapscott. Photo: Rob Maccoll.

By Margaret Maccoll

About a month after being told they needed to find new homes, some residents at Johns Landing camping grounds are moving on, but tension is mounting for others concerned for their future.
About three-quarters of residents have registered for social housing, some are securing places through friends and others are hitting the highway.
On Sunday camping ground owners Pat and Ben Johns were cleaning up the camp of a long-term resident who had found another home in Tin Can Bay.
Three residents had moved out last week, Ben said.
He said negotiations with Noosa Council on their purchase of the riverside property had been finalised and the camp shop would shut next week giving the couple more time to clean up.
Under the sales agreement, the camping ground was unable to accept any new campers including those who may turn up for the school holidays, Ben said.
Resident Steve Cumner and his girlfriend Emma are still hopeful of securing social housing, but don’t expect it will be in the local area.
Pauline Hammant who lived at the camp with children including a 15-year-old son, moved two weeks ago to a unit she was allocated in Townsville but returned on the weekend to visit.
“I missed everyone,” she said.
“But you’re not going to get a place around here.
“There’re too many people and not enough houses. I had hoped I could stay here until the kids finished school.”
Concreter Greg Tapscott said he wasn’t optimistic about gaining a place to live.
“Living here, it’s not much but you have a bit of an area,” he said.
“In housing you’re in a box. I’d rather be here and there’s no way I’ll get rid of my dog. It seems like the council want to just shunt us all anywhere.”