Outasite Lite is back with news for park residents and their advocates.
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Welcome to the new look Outasite Lite. So much has happened in the world of residential parks since issue 14 was published in December 2013.

As most of you will be aware the Park and Village Service (PAVS) is no longer funded as part of the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. Instead, the Tenants’ Union of NSW now receives some funding to provide information to park residents.

The Tenants' Union Residential Parks Team has a mix of experience and new faces. (Pictured above, left to right.) Paul Smyth (Residential Parks Legal Officer) has been in position for over four years. Jemima Mowbray (Residential Parks Support Worker) is experienced in general tenancy but is new to parks. Julie Lee (Residential Parks Worker) was the Resource and Information Worker at PAVS for two and a half years before joining the Tenants' Union in January this year. Glyn Mather (Residential Parks Project Officer) is also new to parks but brings a wealth of community and project management experience.

The parks team has been very busy this year working on new resources and picking up some of the previous operations of PAVS, for example, the NSW Residential Parks Forum. Paul has been very busy with matters in the Tribunal, the Supreme Court and the Land and Environment Court.

The Tenants’ Union and the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW (CPSA), the previous auspice of PAVS, have reached an agreement that enables the TU to publish both Outasite and Outasite Lite.

The Tenants’ Union would like to acknowledge the valuable work of PAVS and CPSA in establishing these publications and for putting out so many great issues over the years. The TU will continue the flow of independent information to park residents through Outasite and Outasite Lite and we hope you'll come with us on our journey.

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The Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act

The Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 was scheduled to commence on 1 July 2014 and while that is still possible, it now looks unlikely.

There have been two recent changes of Minister in the Fair Trading portfolio and it’s our understanding that the Regulations have not yet been finalised.

The Tenants’ Union (TU) met with the then Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres on 30 April 2014 and he advised that the Regulations would be available for public consultation in late May/early June 2014. Minister Ayres confirmed that there would be full consultation on the Regulations.

The TU has since met with the new Minister for Fair Trading, the Hon. Mathew Mason-Cox, and he continued the commitment to keeping the TU informed about the progress of the regulations.

Select Committee on Social, Public and Affordable Housing

This Inquiry is a Legislative Council inquiry conducted by the Social, Public and Affordable Housing Committee. This Select Committee was established on Wednesday 13 November 2013 to inquire into and report on demand for social, public and affordable housing in NSW.

The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry include at (f) “the role of residential parks”.

The Committee received 247 submissions with a small number of these being from park residents groups including Port Stephens Park Residents Association, Karalta Road Park Home Owners Inc. and the Independent Park Residents Action Group (IPRAG). IPRAG has also been invited to present evidence to the Select Committee.

The final report from the Inquiry is due on 9 September 2014.

Spreading the word

The Tenants’ Union is excited to announce that the Law and Justice Foundation of New South wales has provided us with funding to support the provision of a new suite of resources and a community education outreach project on the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013.

The new legislation is due to commence this year and the TU acknowledges the need for parks residents to be provided with accurate, up-to-date information setting out how the changes will affect you.

There are two parts to the project. One focus will be developing a series of fact sheets on various aspects the law. The fact sheets will be written in plain language and made available to all park residents. Many of you will be familiar with the fact sheets previously produced by PAVS - the new ones will be along similar lines. We will be consulting widely with residents’ representatives and Tenant Advocates about the content and design of the fact sheets.

We will also produce a special issue of Outasite which will feature a series of articles about the new Act and Regulations.

Lastly, we will be getting out and about and talking to residents across NSW, and providing information sessions on the new law in selected centres. There will be up to 20 workshops held, which will be widely advertised. We want anyone who wants to know about the new legislation to have access to information. We do not have dates for the outreach project yet but we will keep you up to date and let you know when and where the park visits and workshops will take place.

We look forward to meeting you.

Electricity: charges and changes

On 1 July 2013 new rules governing the sale of electricity and gas to residential and small business energy customers came into force in NSW. The rules are part of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF). This framework is a national customer protection framework and its implementation involved the transfer of state and territory legislation into a single set of national Laws, Regulations and Rules.

The supply of electricity in residential parks falls under the national framework and park owners are able to on-sell electricity as ‘exempt suppliers’.

This is a little confusing for NSW park residents because currently the Residential Parks Act 1998 requires park owners to comply with “the relevant code” when charging for electricity. This code is the ‘Customer Service Standards for the Supply of Electricity to Permanent Residents of Residential Parks’, which can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.

Because the Customer Service Standards is the code prescribed in the Residential Parks Regulation 2006, where there is a conflict between it and the national guideline, the CSS code wins and should be followed.

Once the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 becomes law the old code is likely to fall away and only the new rules will apply.  Where the national guideline and Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 are in conflict the Act will prevail and should be followed.

The Tenants' Union will be publishing a fact sheet on electricity supply and charges for park residents once the Regulation has been finalised.

Tales from the Illawarra

The Illawarra region on the South Coast of NSW is home to nine residential parks providing accommodation to over 2,000 long-term residents. Many are located in an enviable position between the Illawarra escarpment and the ocean. Earlier this month, Julie and Jemima from the Tenants' Union parks team travelled to this beautiful region. We discovered one of the key issues for parks residents in this region is compliance with local government regulations.
Click here to read the full article.

Need advice? Contact your local service:

Tenants Advice & Advocacy services:

• Eastern Sydney: 9386 9147
• Inner Sydney: 9698 5975
• Inner Western Sydney: 9559 2899
• Northern Sydney: 8198 8650
• Southern Sydney: 9787 4679
• South Western Sydney: 4628 1678
• Western Sydney: 8833 0933
• Blue Mountains: 4782 4155
• Central Coast: 4353 5515
• Hunter: 4969 7666
• Illawarra South Coast: 4274 3475
• Mid North Coast: 6583 9866
• Northern Rivers: 6621 1022
• North Western NSW: 1800 836 268
• South Western NSW: 1800 642 609


• Greater Sydney:
   9698 0873
• Western NSW:
   6884 0969
• Southern NSW:
   1800 672 185
• Northern NSW:
   1800 248 913


Tenants NSW website:

CPSA factsheets:
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The Tenants’ Union of NSW is a community legal centre specialising in NSW residential tenancies law, and the peak resourcing body for the NSW Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program.

Address: Suite 201, 55 Holt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: 02 8117 3777

The articles in Outasite are primarily intended for people who live in, or are affected by, the state laws of New South Wales, Australia. While every effort has been made to ensure the legal information in these articles is correct and up-to-date, it is not a substitute for specific legal advice. The articles are intended to be a general guide to the law only. You should seek expert assistance if you are faced with a problem. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily held by the Tenants’ Union.

© Copyright Tenants' Union of NSW 2014

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