Sale lifts hopes of staff pay

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 30 Maret 2013 | 19.55

The lifestyle village at Geilston Bay has been bought by a new company. Pictures: LUKE BOWDEN

A LIFESTYLE village at Geilston Bay owned by Tony Park, the director of a series of collapsed building companies, has been sold.

A new company, Clarence Lifestyle Village Pty Ltd, bought the village on Tuesday for an undisclosed sum from one of the collapsed firms, Park Land Developments.

Mr Park yesterday said the sale was good news for former staff owed entitlements such as holiday and termination pay.

The former staff could not get access to the Federal Government's Fair Entitlements Guarantee because their employer, Cosy Cabins, was separate and not in liquidation.

"I have been working to get the best deal for the blokes but have not had any funds to appoint a liquidator," he said.

"This sale ... will give me the funds to liquidate and give them access to [the] guarantee."

Mr Park's companies, Mornington Park Homes, Park Land Developments and Cosy Cabins Australia Marketing, were placed in receivership in February and March.

News of the sale offered hope for Alan and Carol Bannister, who are coming to terms with losing their jobs and home.

They have spent this week packing up, ready to move back to Dover.

Mr Bannister, who had been the company purchasing officer, was paid for the five years he was with the group by Cosy Cabins but, because that company is not in liquidation, was not eligible under the entitlements guarantee. He said he had also not been paid for his last week of work. Mrs Bannister was manager at the lifestyle village at Geilston Bay.

"The new owners said they could not offer me work and we have had to move out of the manager's house as a result," Mrs Bannister said. "It was a whole new life and our home as well and we looked forward to retiring and growing old with all the residents."

Another former employee said he felt hung out to dry by Mr Park, who had professed concern for workers at the time of the collapse.

"For him to say that his main concern was us -- his employees and our entitlements -- is an insult," he said.

"Each day brings another challenge to put food on the table and pay bills."

Another former staffer said his superannuation funds were not up to date. Staff who asked about super during the year had been told "we will fix it up".

The directors of Clarence Lifestyle Village are former staffer Craig Swan and investor Joshua Muskett.

Receivers McGrathNicol were appointed by National Australia Bank, owed $2.2 million by the companies.

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