Residents at Woodmans Point Holiday Park, led by Kevin Fahie, formed PHOA in 1998 because they were dissatisfied with park management practices. The group learned of incidents on other parks so decided to place a small advertisement in a Western Australian newspaper, to find out if residents living in caravan parks were interested in joining a grass-roots group.
The response was immediate and membership soon grew to about 1,000, which was remarkable for a State with a comparatively small population. It became an Incorporated Association in November 1998.
PHOA is now a vibrant State-wide association that is recognised by the government as the representative of all long-stay* park residents in Western Australia.
The major achievements of PHOA are:
- recognition by the government of PHOA as a lobby group;
- the government’s acceptance that the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 does not provide adequate protection for park residents, and its subsequent decision to draft a new Bill that applies specifically to our lifestyle;
-in August 2007, introduction of new legislation for long-stay park residents, the Residential Parks (Long-stay Tenants) Act 2006;
- the Commonwealth Government's decision to review its decision to apply General Services Tax (GST) to our rent - a charge that does not apply to other types of tenants in Australia. The Government would not abolish the tax, but reduced the amount;
- representation on the Caravan Park and Camping Grounds Advisory Committee for the Minister for Local Government;
- achieved equality with all other domestic consumers in power charges on parks;
- negotiated with the State Government to allow pensioners to receive a rebate on the cost of water, subject to an agreement between the Water Corporation and the park operator; and
- membership of the Tenancy Advice Service W.A. that provides advice to residential tenants.
* more than three months