By Mitchell Clarke
A newly licensed 18-year-old has been left fuming and out of pocket after Cardinia Shire Council refused to accept liability for serious damage caused to her car on a council road.
The Bunyip woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, was travelling along Tynong-Bayles Road when she struck a large pothole which destroyed her tyre and the rim, leaving her with a repair bill of $1090.
But the student, who is about to sit her Year 12 exams, isn’t in a position to afford the expensive repairs with her mother calling on the shire to cover the out of pocket costs.
“It’s quite disgraceful, I’m pretty annoyed with them,” she said.
“$1090 is a lot for a kid to pay but it’s nothing for a council.”
It’s understood the newly licensed driver had just spent hard earned savings from her part time job to buy her dream car and has lost a lot of confidence as a result of the incident.
“I’m just glad she wasn’t seriously injured, I nearly broke my a*** on that pothole,” the mother explained.
“As a rate payer in the Cardinia shire, I expect my daughter to at least be safe on the shire roads, not only was she upset regarding the damage but she could have lost her life due to the poor road conditions.
“I don’t want someone to die for them to fix up the roads.”
Cardinia Shire Council said they were unable to comment on specific claims, instead sending a statement: “we treat every claim seriously and with full diligence, responding to claims and queries quickly and thoroughly.”
The complainants received an email from National Claim Solutions denying the compensation claim, stating the damages needed to be over the amount of $1460.
It’s understood the provisions of the Road Management Act 2004 require any individual seeking compensation for damage to property from the condition of the roadway, to pay the first $1460 of any claim, regardless of liability.
“As your claim does not meet this threshold, we must deny liability on behalf of council,” the email said.
The Gazette re-contacted council to ask whether motorists in a similar situation were unable to claim compensation if their vehicles were damaged due to unsealed council roads.
Council’s response was “every claim is treated seriously and with full diligence.”
But those fighting to be reimbursed don’t feel like they’ve been treated seriously.
“I just think it’s bloody insulting,” the mother said.
“I don’t know why they bother getting us to fill in the claim forms if they’re only going to reject them.
“I’ve never struck a council like them before and I honestly just feel like not paying my rates.”