News

Goodna mum of four sick of living in filth

OBNOXIOUS smells and filthy water have plagued Goodna resident Rima Benson and her four children for 10 weeks in her housing commission home and she has had enough.

Ms Benson has to buy water to drink and cook with and is concerned for the health of her children.

She has made numerous complaints about the situation.

"I haven't heard nothing from nobody. It has been 10 weeks and it is getting beyond a joke," she said.

"There is a sewerage smell that goes right into the laundry, the dining room and the kitchen and the smell is now coming out of the pipes in the bathroom due to the fact that all the pipes are broken and we are still waiting for two contractors to give us an estimate of how much it is going to cost to replace all the burst water pipes and burst sewerage.

"I have been told for the past four weeks that it is not going to happen overnight but now it has been 10 weeks."

Ms Benson has rung the Department of Housing many times to try and get a resolution, but so far nothing has happened.

She said it wasn't fair that she had to "live in filth" for so long.

The QT visited and turned on the taps and filthy water came out.

"We've got to wash in that, shower in that and bath in that," she said.

"I buy all the drinking water and all the water for cooking to look after my children.

"I have a letter from my local GP and she thinks it is a health hazard."

There are drill holes in the wall that indicate there is possibly asbestos in the property. Tests have been done but officials are yet to let Ms Benson know the results.

Ms Benson keeps her house in immaculate condition. The bad conditions are no fault of hers.

"This house has got worse in the nine months I have been here," she said.

"I have sent letters to the ombudsman and to the health and housing minister.

Goodna mother Rima Benson inspects the colour of the water that comes from the taps in her housing commission house and is trying to get this and other issues rectified. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Goodna mother Rima Benson inspects the colour of the water that comes from the taps in her housing commission house and is trying to get this and other issues rectified. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

"I got one reply that states I have only rung up once on the 24th of February but I have got 15 work order numbers."

Ms Benson said the home was rotting and likely had been for a long time as the previous residents lived there for 42 years.

"When I looked at this house I accepted it because I had to get out of the transitional house I was in at Stafford where I went because I was fleeing family violence," she said

"I knew something was wrong with this house but it took me a while to figure out what. The mould is right through and I can't clean it all off.

"You can see the walls are coming away from the roof."

Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said she had been advised by the Department of Housing and Public Works that "although a contractor inspected the property soon after the initial complaint in February, unfortunately that inspection didn't identify the issue with the pipes".

"Departmental officers have since visited the property again and identified and approved a number of repair works," she said.

"I've sought further advice and have been told that the pipe works should be completed this weekend, with the other works scheduled for soon after.

"I can appreciate the frustration the tenant must feel, and I've asked the Department to contact her directly to explain what works are underway and the time frames for those works to happen."

Topics:  dirty, goodna



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