THE BUSHRANGER OF BAFFLE CREEK
Legal robbery at the point of a pen.
Baffle Creek is a remote community, about an hour north of Bundaberg in Queensland. Located well off the highway, it's mostly raw wild country. Those who love it call it unspoiled.
Over the years, a lot of Southerners have bought land in the Baffle Creek area; usually bush blocks comprising a few dozen acres.
In 1988, Roy Lawrence (who lives in Victoria) bought 40 acres at Baffle Creek for $40,000.
Peter Francis Thackeray owns Baffle Creek Real Estate. He is an accredited member of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).
Around August 2005, Peter Thackeray wrote to Roy Lawrence asking if he wanted to sell. According to Roy, Thackeray said the land was worth $60,000. A mere $20,000 increase after almost 20 years. It didn't seem like much of an investment; and so Roy agreed to sell.
A buyer was quickly found. It was the agent himself, Peter Thackeray.
As soon as the deal was done and Roy Lawrence had received his $60,000, agent Thackeray put the block up for sale for $99,000. "Get in early. THIS IS PRICED TO SELL NOW!!!!!!!!!!" screamed the advertisement.
Within days the block was re-sold for $92,000.
Roy Lawrence was fleeced of $32,000.
Is this legal?
Well, in Queensland, if agents want to rob sellers, they have to tell them. It's called "disclosure". Peter Thackeray said he was buying the block for his son. And there you have it - legal robbery.
When contacted this week, Thackeray said, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting that we have done anything improper. Neil, you are an absolute disgrace."
Meanwhile, down in Victoria, Roy Lawrence has a different view. "You go out and trust these guys and then they do this to you. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth," he said.
Yes, and it also leaves a big hole in your wallet.
So, look out sellers – whether you are local or from the south – be careful of Peter Thackeray, the bushranger of Baffle Creek.
Meet the Bushranger of Baffle Creek.
Further Reading: IS THE BUSHRANGER INNOCENT?
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