The complainants were a young Aboriginal couple who had recently become engaged. Having moved to the area for work, they arranged to rent a caravan via a local real estate agent, with the agreement of the alleged owner of the van.
They said that when they arrived at the caravan park to take up residence, the managers of the site would not allow them past the boom gate. They contacted the estate agent, who came to the site and appeared to have a heated discussion with the managers and other people who arrived at the site's office.
The estate agent then advised the couple that the site managers were refusing to allow them to use the caravan. The complainants said that they were devastated by the experience, and decided to travel home to their friends and family. They made a complaint of race discrimination.
The respondent claimed that the refusal of use of the caravan was not because of the complainants' race but because the real estate agent and the supposed owner of the van had not followed the proper process. They said that they had not been told that the van was up for rental. The owner of the van had recently died and their advice was that her ex-husband had no right to lease it as she had died intestate.
The complainants said that the site managers made no effort to explain these circumstances to them at the time. The complaint was resolved following a conciliation conference when the complainants accepted a payment of $8,000 for hurt and humiliation.
Back to February 2016 - Equal Time Newsletter