Council denied flood compensation: please help change the unfair decision.
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In a very short period of time my new premises have been flooded not once, not twice, but three times (!) due to blocked (overflowing) street pits and drains :
These incidents were reported each time to Yarra Ranges Council. I have appealed to several people for help regarding this particular issue.
They are: the council CEO, a councillor, local MPs and even the Ombudsman.
After the third flooding the blockage was finally located and cleared, but massive damage was done. Those floods gushing out from blocked street drains and pits, which are right in front of the subdivided block have caused total devastation to my brand new property, exposing pipes and footings, washing down newly established gardens, mulch, killing plants, crushing into the back fence damaging it and covering the grounds with dirty mess and debris from the pits and the street. The water also entered through the vents in the brick and had flown under the house.
The outdoor looks now like a war zone. The garage was totally flooded damaging boxes of still unpacked household items swimming in dirty water, which then sipped through the skirting and landed inside the hallway. The underlay was totally saturated with water emerging through the floorboard joints and some of the bamboo floorboard has cracked. At the first time a council car arrived and a driver set inside it watching me battling with the water. During the second occurrence I called the council emergency number again, but was told that it is not safe for the Council workers to assist me! It sounded like "sink or swim" message.
The infrastructure is 40 years old. In the meantime council permits subdivisions of larger blocks and the population is growing, but infrastructure remains the same and has no adequate capacity to cope with the growing number of new dwellings. I still live in fear every time it rains and the terrifying experience of those floods still haunts me. I have lodged a compensation claim form, which in fact was emailed to me by the Risk & Insurance Officer at the council, but this now has been denied. As a ratepayer I feel betrayed, abandoned, let down and terribly disappointed. I have resided in the area of Yarra Ranges for 34 years and for the last 30 years I have faithfully paid my rates.
Unfortunately, with a sinking feeling I have now realised that the local council cares only to collect the rates and does not really care much nor does it assist people in need.
If they think they have a right to slap me with obligatory legal notice to continue paying my rates why the council does not feel somewhat obligated to their ratepayers for our loyal financial support over so many years?
To claim damages through my insurance means anticipating a huge rise in premium as soon as I make a claim, which is unfair to me and to the insurer. Calculating long term premium payments it will eventually become unaffordable for me, as I am on Disability Support Pension, 60 years old female with chronic medical condition. It is so heartbreaking watching the hard work, effort and money being washed away with the flood due to council's negligence in maintaining street drains and pits.
I would truly appreciate your support in making Yarra Ranges Council to understand their responsibility towards ratepayers and to show some compassion. Please sign this petition.
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