A CARDWELL man is breathing easier after finding out he can stay in his Cardwell home which had been about to be repossessed. Wheelchair-bound former prawn farmer Sam Sciacca was weeks away from homelessness when circumstances behind the forced sale of the home by La Trobe Financial changed.
But the stroke victim isn’t giving up on his fight to have the Federal Government call a royal commission into Australian banking practices.
The Bulletin first highlighted Mr Sciacca’s plight in February.
He was one of North Queensland’s prawn-farming pioneers but the operation at Cardwell was damaged by Cyclone Larry in 2006 and he had to contribute more personal funds.
Mr Sciacca claims that despite the farm having enough prawns to keep trading and to meet loan repayments, ANZ Bank subsidiary Permanent Custodians appointed receivers, PPB Advisory in 2008.
He is adamant this appointment was not only unnecessary and premature, but that management practices under the receivers caused the farm to fail before it was sold for a fraction of its worth as a going concern.
PPB Advisory has stood by its management of the farm and denies Mr Sciacca’s claims.
Mr Sciacca was overjoyed at the news but is still considering legal action against the ANZ Bank.
“I’m so happy, all I wanted to do was stay here until I die,” he said.
“I’ve got nowhere else to go and having to move out would have been too much to handle.”
Kennedy MP Bob Katter – who has introduced legislation to force a royal commission into financial services – congratulated Mr Sciacca on his successful bid to stay in Cardwell.
“I think there would have been a very serious confrontation if the bank had tried to drag Sam out of his home, and his carer out of the carer’s cottage,” Mr Katter said.
He thanked his chief of staff Anne Pleash, who handled much of the negotiations on Mr Sciacca’s behalf.This article was first published by http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.auAuthor: JULIAN TOMLINSON