Resident ordered to dig up her new drive and verge
TIVOLI resident and flood victim Margaret-Anne Jensen has been given until tomorrow to dig up improvements to the verge and her driveway that she undertook without council permission.
Cr Heather Morrow said the work done by Ms Jensen had created a public safety issue.
But Ms Jensen, who says she will be unable to make the deadline, has disputed the Ipswich City Council ruling and says there are other examples of residents doing exactly what she has done.
Ms Jensen, who also raised her house, has a giant sign out the front of her house that says "Council said dig up driveway and verge" and marking a line 2-3 feet below 2011 flood level.
"My concern is that I have been denied a fair hearing and outcome because I didn't seek permission to do the works on the verge and putting in a driveway," she said.
"But they haven't done a risk assessment or considered the numerous precedents in the area.
"The council gave me a bill with a quote of $6050 for surveying the front boundary line and digging it up and pulling it all out two to three feet below flood level and I have to get the work done within seven days, by the 12th. That is a cost I have to wear."
Ms Jensen's home was inundated up to the gutters in the 2011 floods and she said she did the work to prevent such a catastrophe befalling her again.
"I fear being inundated with floodwater again. It has been proved there are going to be more flood frequencies and we have to be prepared," she said.
"Every time it rains...I am in great fear with sleepless nights, tears and I'm losing weight."
Cr Morrow said the issue with Mr Jensen and council had been "ongoing for a number of months" and confirmed Ms Jensen had been asked to undo the work.
"Ms Jensen has done some illegal work on the premises, building up the driveway and verge," she said.
"Her intent is good but from a safety perspective it is illegal work as far as the council is concerned.
"Myself and council have endeavoured to reach a solution with her but she doesn't seem prepared to accept any of council's recommendations."
Ms Jensen said she had provided council with photographs of other residents who had done the same thing. She also had a hydrologists' report that said the drainage in the area was a danger to her property.