With many homes still uninhabitable from the severe Halloween hailstorms across Ipswich late last year, Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding is calling on the State Government to urgently assist residents still waiting for their homes to be repaired.
Within 24 hours of the 31 October storm, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared the natural disaster a catastrophe with the damage bill currently at $805m.
The Queensland Government did not officially declare the event a disaster.
Mayor Harding said while licensed builders and contractors were making progress, there is still a lot of work to do.
“About one-third of claims had been completed and that is great news,” Mayor Harding said.
“We know that the insurance companies are doing their best but having areas of Springfield still covered in tarps is not acceptable.
“The community is still feeling the heartache, especially those unable to return to their homes.
“The recovery effort requires a coordinated response across a number of sectors and levels of government.”
In the 14 weeks since the storm, there have been 33,519 claims made to insurance companies with more than 16,000 properties and almost 14,000 motor vehicles impacted.
These figures do not account damage to uninsured property.
The Insurance Council of Australia will be at the YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre on Friday, 5 and Saturday, 6 March and affected policy holders are invited to make appointments to have one-on-one meetings to discuss any ongoing issues.
Mayor Harding said council had been advocating for the impacted families by raising concerns and liaising with relevant agencies
“I have written to MPs and stakeholders in the insurance and construction sectors to highlight the needs of impacted families,” Mayor Harding said.
“In the immediate week after the disaster I implored the relative state agencies to declare the event as a disaster so that our impacts residents would get the help the needed and so they would not be forgotten.”
During the storm aftermath there were more than 2,100 calls for SES assistance in Ipswich with teams from all over Queensland, and as far away as South Australia, sending volunteers.
Energex also reported over 3,000 power outages during the storm and the QFES fire and rescue crew conducted almost 1,700 damage assessments in the Ipswich and Logan areas, 1,558 in Ipswich.
Council established The Ipswich Hail Event community information page on Shape Your Ipswich to provide advice and assistance for the thousands of Ipswich residents affected by the storm. The page has received 1,258 views.
More than 2,000 people are estimated to have been provided with support at the YMCA Springfield Community Centre, which operated as a drop-in centre bringing all levels of government, insurance and businesses in one place.