One of Australia’s most affluent suburbs is in revolt after a commercial pilot parked his massive boat on a residential street and left it there for days.
Laureen Ong noticed on Saturday that a boat about twenty feet long was parked outside her home in Mosman, on Sydney’s lower north shore.
The owner of the boat had asked Ms. Ong’s husband if he was blocking their driveway, and when her husband said no, he left the boat and walked away.
But as the days went by, Ms. Ong grew frustrated that the boat blocked her view of traffic when backing out of her driveway, and then that it apparently impeded construction work on her property.
Ms. Ong turned to a local Facebook group in an attempt to find the owner and demand that the boat be moved immediately.
This large boat parked outside a house in Mosman, on Sydney’s lower north shore, has sparked controversy after it was left on the street for several days.
Homeowner vs. boat owner: Laureen Ong (left) told Daily Mail Australia she had no problem with the boat owner, pilot Palle Luneo (right) leaving his boat on her street, but wanted him to move away from your driveway.
Please move your ship! If you are the owner or know the owner, I request that it be removed immediately,” she wrote.
‘We are doing construction work on my house. He has made two big deliveries with a difficult crane to unload supplies so far.’
The post sparked outrage: Several residents criticized the owner for abandoning the boat on the suburban street.
The situation escalated hours later when the ship’s owner, REX Airlines First Officer Palle Lunoe, responded, noting that his ship was legally parked and stating that concerned locals “have too much time on their hands.”
‘To all you pesky Mosmanites: this is my ship. Glad to acknowledge it,” she wrote.
‘The trailer is legal and the boat is legally parked. It is a registered vehicle and therefore has all the rights to be parked on the road.
I spoke with the owners of the house on the left. They are happy with it. The people from the house on the right pulled out of the driveway when I was parking it there and they refused to stop to talk about it.
“Having said that, I’m happy to move it if [sic] causing discomfort. Although a simple nice request would have sufficed.
Residents said they were concerned that the boat obscured their view of oncoming traffic as they exited their driveways.
The boat trailer is parked on a piece of sidewalk between two roads
‘Honestly, you should read about the commotion this caused. Maybe they have too much free time.
The ship left locals divided with some saying Mr Lunoe’s post, which garnered more than 860 reactions, gives “an insight into the minds of…rich people”.
“Seriously, just because you’re lucky enough to live in one of Sydney’s most expensive suburbs doesn’t mean you have the right to never be bothered in the slightest,” read one reply.
‘It’s actually your boat, park it outside your house or pay for a mooring. Common courtesy’ someone else commented.
Ms Ong told the Daily Mail Australia that neither she nor her husband had thought that Mr Lunoe planned to park his boat in front of their house for five days.
Pictured: Construction cones outside Ms. Ong’s house, where work is being done on the front stairs.
“My husband thought he was only parking it for a short time and it wasn’t like he was going to stay here,” she said.
“Everyone just assumed he was fixing something or doing something, but I guess that wasn’t the case.
‘He didn’t say it was going to be five days. [If he did] my husband would obviously have said something.
Mrs. Ong said she had no problem with him. I understand that everyone has to park their boats and trailers, and people have been parking them on the street, that’s fine.’
“My big problem was getting in and out of my driveway, I couldn’t see and the bus stop was right there,” he said.
“They fly by so I have to be very careful and I can’t see when I’m going out.” [of the driveway] with my children.’
Ms. Ong said that she has not been able to use her garage because it is now full of construction materials that cannot be left in the right place.
She said she first contacted the council, but they were unable to help, so she decided to first try to locate Mr. Lunoe personally.
Mr. Lunoe, who lives in an apartment 2 km away, bought his boat three months ago.
However, while she felt her post was polite and reasonable, she said he seemed “very upset” and “unfriendly” to her.
“I wanted to find him to ask him and the only way I could was by posting, but he took it on offense,” she said.
“I was really surprised by the way he reacted to us and we tried to talk to him on the phone and not make this ugly.” It was obviously a misunderstanding.
Ms. Ong then updated her original post to explain her reasons for wanting to rock the boat.
‘But [the phone call] it just wasn’t pretty. He was not happy and said, “Your wife did all this out of proportion.”
Ms Ong said she spoke to Mr Lunoe on Tuesday and he agreed to move the boat later that night.
However, she said he texted her to say he couldn’t do it anymore for personal reasons, but promised to do it the next morning.
As of 3pm on Wednesday, the boat had still not been picked up and Ms Ong said she had not received an update from him on when it would be picked up.
Ms. Ong said that there were other areas on the street that were not blocking driveways where she could have parked.
I could park it around the corner. There are spaces there where you’re not blocking driveways or bothering anyone,’ he said.
But Mr Lunoe, who lives 2km from the parking spot in an apartment, said he is not one of those people “who buy a boat and leave it there for six months”.
He said he was happy to rock the boat, which he has had for three months, but it bothers him that “no one is polite anymore.”
All I had to do was write “whose ship is this?” online,’ she said.
Mr. Lunoe is seen during a trip by the sea
‘It caused a huge stir.
‘If she had any buildings under construction, she would have just gone up to rock the boat.
“But everybody gets 500% angry and acts pretty extreme, and the whole community gets involved with 600% anger.”
Mr. Lunoe said he has no problems with the owners and is sure they are “nice.”
But he believes that ‘we live in a community, which means that people have to live thinking of other people’.
“Increasingly, people believe that they should be able to live in a community, but they should have the right to be angry if something inconveniences them,” he said.
‘…As if nothing could affect them.
‘You have to ask yourself, am I really bugging someone to create a ruckus when all they have to do is drive a little slower to get out of their driveway?’
Mr. Lunoe said that he told Ms. Ong’s husband at the time of delivery that he would pick up his boat sometime in the week.
According to social media posts, Mr Luneo enjoyed a trip to the Whitsundays earlier this month and shared a photo of a different boat.
He claimed “hundreds of people” have contacted him and offered support over the saga, with even council members reaching out to ask him to be a public defender of misconceptions about legal boat parking in the area.
At 5:30pm on Wednesday, Mr Lunoe told Daily Mail Australia that he had picked up the boat.
Registered boat trailers can be legally parked on a residential street for up to 28 days, but the issue remains controversial among Mosman residents.
Earlier this month, Mosman Council resolved to impose four-hour limits on nine parking spaces in Mosman Bay to address boat trailer parking in the area.
Boats are a common sight on streets across the suburb, which has a median home price of $5.3 million, and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics puts residents’ median weekly household income in 2021 at $2,892 per week.
In August, ATO data released by Canstar found that Mosman was the sixth-richest suburb in the country.
Pictured: An online meme has since sprung up in response to the ship saga.