Allow Richard and Stephen to choose where they spend the last years of their lives

The Castle Mk II

This is a script that appears to be similar to The Castle movie. However at this moment, it is more of a tragedy than a comedy. Unfortunately there is nothing “that is going straight to the pool room,” in this tragedy.

It is taking place at the Parkview Village in Waitara, where the residents were informed in mid 2014 that the village would be demolished by the owner, Vasey Housing Association, and replaced by a $47m 12 story building containing 117 units. This was the start of a drive to get all residents to vacate the buildings. They were successful in that there are only two residents left, Richard Best and Stephen Baume. 

At a Tribunal on the 9th of June, Mr David Elkins the CEO of Vasey, engaged one of Australia’s largest law firms to terminate their lifetime resident contracts of Richard and Stephen and evict them both. They will then be forced to live the last years of their lives in a place they do not want to be. 

Richard and Stephen are the only two souls left in the village that housed 55 residents. There was a lot of pressure on the residents to leave, which included bullying by way of a threat. At a budget meeting in late 2015, the residents were informed that due to the closure of the village, there would be an increase of $500 per quarter in their charges for residents remaining in the village. The oldest person to leave was a 92 year old lady; a terrible age to be forced to leave her home, friends, doctors and other support systems she had relied on for years.

Richard and Stephen are in their seventies and have lived there for 7 and 10 years respectively. They had been told that they had lifelong leases and could stay there until they died!

Have they been too demanding in their negotiations, which have caused this impasse? All they are asking for is like accommodation, but it must be in close proximity to where they are staying. They chose this village because it was ideally suited for their needs. Richard grew up and lived in this area for most of his life. There are extensive medical facilities close at hand with a variety of specialist doctors in the fields of oncology, cardiology which are needed. They have been using these services for years and would not like to change any of this, at this stage of their lives.

They do not want to change homes but if they have to, it is essential that they do not change their local environment and support systems. Walking around this deserted village without knowing if or when this matter will be resolved is extremely stressful and is potentially damaging to the health of a senior citizen. The anxiety caused has manifested itself in changes to their normal sleep patterns.

Richard and Stephen have been engaged for almost a year in fighting their cause, mostly on their own. However, as a result of the Tribunal proceedings to evict them, the RVRA (Retirement Village Residents Association) has started this petition on their behalf. Peter Hill, Hill & Co Lawyers, the RVRA honorary solicitor has agreed to defend these disadvantaged residents in this case, on a pro bono basis.

This is a very worthy cause, which we hope you will support by voting for this petition.

Your one vote could easily turn to three, if you share this with two friends. Please do so; it makes an enormous difference to how soon we will be able to present the petition to the CEO of the Vasey Housing Association.

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