THE vigour with which Shoalhaven City Council has acted to head off another paper estates disaster is to be commended.
Incredible as it seems, once again unwary people appear to be being lured into parting with cash to buy blocks of land they are being told will be rezoned, but in reality will be next to useless.
This is the legacy of a stillborn plan hatched during World War I to make Jervis Bay the site of a major city and almost a century later we are still paying the price for it.
While the concept of buyer beware is fine in principle, the sad fact remains that people will make themselves believe an offer that seems too good to be true is true, when the reverse is actually the case.
While council does its best to protect prospective buyers of the blocks in the Pacific City estate, steps need to be taken at state and federal government level to ensure agents selling the land, especially those interstate, do not misrepresent the facts.
The decision by council to refer the matter to Fair Trading, the ACCC and the police is the right course of action. The legal battles that have been fought over the other paper estates have cost all ratepayers dearly and have caused much heartache for the landowners, many of whom were misled not just by real estate agents but by councillors.
This council has made it clear it is determined to forestall similar debacles occurring and for that it deserves praise.