Hailstorm damaged homes to be assessed three months on
THREE months on from the horror Halloween hailstorms which hammered Springfield, Springfield Lakes and the western parts of Ipswich, impacted residents are still picking up the pieces.
The road to recovery has been a slow process for many locals whose homes were battered in the October storms which tore through Ipswich and Logan.
Springfield Lakes was one of the areas to be hit hardest.
Tradies are busy working on damaged properties across the suburb but there are still plenty of homes where repairs have yet to begin.
Hundreds of local families had no choice but to leave their homes and find somewhere else to live until fixes are completed, with repairs expected to take months.
The damage bill from the storms exceeded $300 million with insurance companies receiving more than 26,000 claims.
In early November, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services did damage assessments on public infrastructure and homes in Logan and Ipswich.
Comprehensive information about the extent of damage was collected from about 1550 properties in Ipswich, which were flagged for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to follow up.
The QRA will do its first damage assessment and reconstruction monitoring audit in Ipswich and Springfield from Monday until Friday next week.
Anyone conducting official business will have photo ID and if residents aren’t home, a calling card will be left if further information is required.
“Effectively they do an assessment of where things are at so they can feed that data back into other government agencies and back to the local council,” Jordan MP Charis Mullen said.
“What they will do is assess all the houses that were originally assessed.
“This will give them an understanding of where things are at in terms of progress and what further assistance needs to be provided.”
QRA representatives will be joined by staff from the Department of Communities, who will be conducting welfare checks.
Mrs Mullen said many residents had come to her to voice the issues they were having with insurance companies.
“Some people feel their insurers are being a bit slow in responding to their needs,” she said.
“The difficulty is they’re obviously seeing other people’s homes being repaired ahead of them.
“There’s talk of a tradie shortage but I wonder whether that is more that insurers have preferred suppliers that they like to use and they’ve booked them in.”
Some residents who had to leave the area and rent elsewhere until repairs are completed still have children attending local schools, adding extra stress to an already difficult situation.
“People have also contacted me about having issues with their real estate agency not being particularly attentive or providing enough information or advice on what they should be doing,” Mrs Mullen said.
Mrs Mullen said she would look into bringing out representatives from the Residential Tenancies Authority so people can learn more about their rights.
She will also write to Ipswich City Council to request another kerbside collection be undertaken to help with accumulating waste over the past three months.
Mrs Mullen she had requested additional police patrols in Springfield Lakes, particularly in the streets where many residents have had to leave.
“The key thing here is not to sit in silence,” she said.
“If you need help you need to contact my office or our community recovery hotline.
“If you are struggling please contact us. Don’t just post on social media.”
You can contact Mrs Mullen’s office on 3447 9300 or the community recovery hotline on 1800 173 349.
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.