New council taskforce to support Halloween hailstorm victims

Ipswich City Council will provide special relief for residents impacted by the Halloween hail storms.

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic put forward an urgent motion at the Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee meeting aimed specifically at residents across Springfield, Rosewood, Walloon and Thagoona doing it tough nearly six months after the severe weather event.

“Following the devastating Halloween storm on 31 October 2020, continuing wet weather events and recent community engagement it has become even more evident that residents of the hardest hit areas are still suffering hardship and ongoing issues due to prolonged recovery and reconstruction efforts,” Cr Jonic said.

“It has been almost 19 weeks since an unprecedented hail storm decimated homes, cars and property in the Springfield Lakes, Springfield, Rosewood, Walloon and Thagoona areas; and residents remain uncertain about their future. According to the Insurance Council of Australia, current insurance claims are estimated to be 39,604 and the damage bill is expected to reach $1 billion.

“The severity of the catastrophic storm and delay in recovery and reconstruction continues to cause significant distress and ongoing hardship for too many Ipswich families, in particular those living in uninhabitable dwellings with extensive roof damage and the ongoing threats of the storm season.

“It is evident that this disaster needs further escalation and co-ordination across responsible agencies, stakeholders, industry and community.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to:

  1. Establish a special recovery and reconstruction taskforce to engage with and co-ordinate key stakeholders to address the ongoing impacts and emerging issues in affected communities. This includes ongoing assessment of impacts and recovery, community engagement, communication and collaboration of all recovery partners and monitoring of recovery progress.
  2. Appoint Cr Jonic to chair the taskforce, supported by the local recovery group and coordinator.
  3. Assess and scope additional relief and support options to further expedite recovery and reconstruction and assist those experiencing severe hardship.
  4. Authorise waiver of fees to access council owned and operated waste transfer stations, for residents of impacted areas, to dispose of storm damaged material (excluding commercial or construction and demolition waste) through a fair and equitable system to be determined by the CEO. 

Mayor Teresa Harding said there were people who were suffering and for many it was a once-in-a-lifetime claim for some homes that were devastated and still inhabitable.

“People are wanting support, but they feel they are not being supported by their insurance companies,” she said.

Read More

 >>>Halloween hailstorm bill nearing $1 billion

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