News

On the brink of bankruptcy

Dennis and Vicki Fry on the land they have been trying to develop for six years.
Dennis and Vicki Fry on the land they have been trying to develop for six years. Sharyn O'Neill

DENNIS and Vicki Fry are on the brink of bankruptcy and aren't sure how they have maintained their sanity after six years of trying to develop a parcel of land in Parkhurst.

The mum and dad developers, who have sunk their life savings into the project, say their lives have been ripped apart by Rockhampton Regional Council's obstructive attitude, constant knockbacks and lack of assistance.

The couple, from Townsville, came to Rockhampton this week for a clear-the-air meeting with Mayor Brad Carter, council chief executive Evan Pardon and a senior planning officer, but fear it may be too late.

The meeting was organised by former mayor Lea Taylor.

"After six years of hell they have finally promised to be 'positive' with us, but we are only days and weeks from going under," said Dennis.

The CEO said he would advise the Crime and Misconduct Commission of allegations of misconduct by council officers relating to the application.

Cr Glenda Mather has suggested there should be an external investigation into the way council planners treated the couple.

The couple had plans drawn up for an estate of 50 low-cost homes on a 4.8 hectare site on Norman Rd, Parkhurst and were told at a pre-lodgement meeting with council officials in May 2006 that it was the sort of development the region needed.

"The land had been used as a scrap yard and so we had it decontaminated to make it fit for housing," said Dennis, who expected the development would take about two years.

Six years later the site is still vacant and Dennis and Vicky need to sell it as soon as possible to keep their heads above water.

They have spent their life savings on mortgage repayments, decontamination and fees to engineers, surveyors, town planners and water experts.

The couple sought mediation and was granted a development approval.

But the 20 conditions applied were so vague the Frys say they have no idea how much it might cost to meet them.

Dennis said potential buyers had told them they had found the council hostile and unco-operative.

Vicki said the way they had been treated, the lack of communication, consideration and help, had taken them to the edge of bankruptcy and ill health.

"Every time they said no, we spent tens of thousands of dollars on engineering fees to address the issues they raised. But the council just kept saying no without ever giving us any idea what we needed to do to satisfy them.

"Instead of helping us I believe they went out of their way to be obstructive."

The couple became so desperate they raised their plight with councillors, MPs, government ministers, the Attorney General Paul Lucas and the Premier, Anna Bligh.

"The only person to offer any assistance has been Lea Taylor who has shown us compassion and understanding and represented us well at the meeting this week. We thank him for his concern."

Topics:  bankruptcy, debt, land, property


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Injury no match for our local athletes

KEEN ATHLETE: Darren Wadsworth competed in the Sprint Distance Individual Mens section of the Colorbond Airlie Beach Triathlon this morning.Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Our triathlon competitors came out strong this morning

Kids 'tri' and they succeed

READY SET GO: About 160 kids were involved in the Ergon Energy Kidzpower Triathlon this afternoon in Airlie Beach and they all had a blast. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Kids competed in the Airlie Beach Triathlon this morning

Novice DJ's spreading audio sunshine

ON AIR: Tony Little and Tully Mars brought their own ray of radio sunshine to the SICYC annual Rendezvous this morning. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times.

Tony Little and Tully Mars took over Coconut Radio this morning

Latest deals and offers

Triathlon champion takes the cake

Triathlon champions, Sam Betten and Max Neumann put on an impressive show at the Colorbond Airlie Beach Triathlon this morning.

Injury no match for our local athletes

KEEN ATHLETE: Darren Wadsworth competed in the Sprint Distance Individual Mens section of the Colorbond Airlie Beach Triathlon this morning.Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Our triathlon competitors came out strong this morning

Kids 'tri' and they succeed

READY SET GO: About 160 kids were involved in the Ergon Energy Kidzpower Triathlon this afternoon in Airlie Beach and they all had a blast. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Kids competed in the Airlie Beach Triathlon this morning

Novice DJ's spreading audio sunshine

ON AIR: Tony Little and Tully Mars brought their own ray of radio sunshine to the SICYC annual Rendezvous this morning. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times.

Tony Little and Tully Mars took over Coconut Radio this morning

JMG to see Boom dance floor a-jumping

DANCE MUSIC: JMG will see the crowd jumping at Boom Nightclub on Saturday night. Photo: Contributed

JMG set to see Boom Nightclub dance floor a-jumping.

'Shaggers' unite for a cause

RAISING AWARENESS: 156 dinghies formed the shape of the ribbon used as a logo for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia at the SICYC annual Rendezvous this morning. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times.

About 800 "Shaggers" came together in the Northern Whitsundays today

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

JMG to see Boom dance floor a-jumping

DANCE MUSIC: JMG will see the crowd jumping at Boom Nightclub on Saturday night. Photo: Contributed

JMG set to see Boom Nightclub dance floor a-jumping.

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa