Family, friends and supporters at the Tarrant home in East Ipswich.
Family, friends and supporters at the Tarrant home in East Ipswich. Rob Williams

Family pin hopes on people power

AN IPSWICH family is hoping people power and media attention will help in their fight with an insurance company as they battle for a fair go.

Ipswich couple Tammy and Stephen Tarrant held a protest at their flood-affected East Ipswich house on Saturday, drawing plenty of support throughout the day.

Other Ipswich families affected by insurance wrangles turned up to the protest, as did television news crews and politicians.

Mrs Tarrant said the dispute with insurers RACQ had left her emotionally drained, but she hoped the attention on their plight might force the company into action.

Her family, along with a 50-strong crowd of supporters, wore shirts protesting against the RACQ and placed signs on the property calling on insurance companies to play fair.

“The support has been tremendous – we’ve been receiving so many phone calls and messages, and now we’ve had so many people turn up to our protest,” she said.

“We’ve had a lot of community support. There are people out there who are in a similar position to us and others who just want to help out.”

The Tarrants are covered for flash-flooding, not riverine flooding, and they claim their house was flooded by stormwater run-off about 12 hours before the major river flooding occurred.

They are waiting on a hydrologist’s report to determine what flooding damaged their house, and in the meantime are upset they weren’t offered emergency accommodation.

Mrs Tarrant said she informed RACQ about the protest at their Barry Street home and invited representatives to attend, but said she had not heard back.

Gold Coast resident Reenie Henderson travelled up to the protest after hearing about it on the internet.

She said she’d had a similar experience with an insurance company and wanted to the support the Ipswich family’s fight.

Ipswich MP and Transport Minister Rachel Nolan also attended the event, and called on insurance companies to show compassion to flood victims.

Ipswich residents with flood insurance claim concerns can meet Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and insurance experts at a forum today at Brothers Leagues Club from 9am to 10am.

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