Calls for investigation into indigenous housing auction
THE solicitor representing indigenous housing tenants in Toowoomba at risk of being evicted has called for an investigation into the company that owned the properties.
A massive protest is expected tomorrow against the auctioning off of 37 Toowoomba houses, that were assets of Downs Housing Company.
Senior partner at Levitt Robinson Solicitors Stewart Levitt said the State Government should buy the houses and called for an investigation into the company.
"The company received the sale of all the land in 2017, and there were $6.2 million worth of assets," he said.
"We don't know what happened to the money. We don't know what happened to the mortgage proceeds.
"There's a solution here, which is the government should acquire the land and they hold the powers to do so.
"I think there's every reason and circumstantial evidence that an investigation is warranted."
The houses were previously owned by a not-for-profit company called Downs Aborigines and Islanders Company Ltd, established in 1983.
According to public documents, the new entity was created in 2016 and all the properties were transferred over.
The sole shareholder of that Downs Housing Company is a Brisbane man called Geoffrey John Hirning.
New mortgages with several investors were established the following year.
Investors called a mortgagee auction in December in a bid to get their money back.
Mr Levitt said there did not appear to have been any consultation with tenants or members during this process.
"There doesn't appear to have been an extraordinary general meeting about it," he said.
The CEO of the National Congress of Australia's First People's Gary Oliver is expected to appear at the rally, along with other indigenous leaders.
The auction will be held at Picnic Point from 10am.