Time to cough up settlements
IPSWICH Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood has called on the State Government to settle compensation claims for people whose homes were damaged by mining subsidence in Collingwood Park.
The Division 3 councillor's call to end uncertainty for home owners waiting for settlement of claims for homes damaged in 2008 has been supported by his council election opponents.
"The misery has gone on long enough and I urge the new minister to show compassion to those home owners directly affected," Cr Attwood said.
"The previous State Government failed to finish the job of compensation for all home owners in the subsidence zone of Collingwood Park.
"Now is the time to rectify this injustice and ease the psychological trauma and pain still being felt by people in this part of Collingwood Park."
Cr Atwood said the government should also make a decision on the future of vacant land on and around Duncan St, one of the worst affected streets that now looked "like a wasteland".
A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said reports were being prepared to brief the new minister.
"The department is currently analysing the latest report from the CSIRO on conditions of the Westfalen No 3 colliery, and a range of potential options to achieve practical, long-term solutions to mine subsidence issues in Collingwood Park," the spokesman said.
"The outcomes of this report will help inform the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and future decision making by the Queensland Government."
He said the government's position was it wasn't liable for damage from the subsidence, but it provided assistance to property owners "because it was the right thing to do".
"The department will continue to respond to any claims of mine subsidence-related damage to Collingwood Park properties under the terms of the state guarantee, which legislates that the state will repair any property in existence at April 2008 damaged by mine subsidence, or purchase that property where it is not cost-effective to repair," he said.
Jim Dodrill and Danny Donohue, who are challenging Cr Attwood, support his stance.
"I would also support calls for the government to compensate the Collingwood Park community by making a significant gesture such as a theme park for the children in the area," Mr Dodrill said.
"That would be a step in the right direction to compensate the whole community as well as the people directly affected by the subsidence."
Mr Donohue supported quick compensation from the State Government but said the council had another role to play.
"My grievance is where council has let down residents in regards to footpaths, and leaving cracked driveways as a constant reminder to the residents of their heartache and the land values they have lost," he said.