29 April 2013

Ipswich homes flooded for second time in 10 days: QUU told to lift their game

Water rushes towards properties at
Bellbird Park after the second water
main break in 10 days at
the same location.

Homes in the Ipswich suburb of Bellbird Park have been flooded for the second time in ten days after another major water main failure caused tonnes of mud and water to flow into the houses.

Two homes in Nimerette St which flooded late today (Sunday) were the scene of a similar disaster on April 17.

A two-storey home owned by Karen Prestidge was damaged by mud and water entering both levels.

The latest break occurred about five metres from the scene of the first water main collapse.

The 450mm main has burst four times in the past five years flooding homes and yards.

Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) who are responsible for maintaining the water mains bought pizzas for the affected families and offered them free accommodation for the night.

Security guards were brought in to protect the homes.

Local councillor Paul Tully who was at the scene late last night described it as one of utter devastation.

"It was like a huge avalanche of water bearing down on the properties running through the top floor of a two-storey home.

"These families are totally overwhelmed by this second incident."

Cr Tully said QUU was not putting enough money into maintaining water mains around Ipswich.

He said there would be more of these major failures "until QUU gets back to the basics of water supply".

"It beggars belief that all they offered the families last night were a dozen luke-warm pizzas and a 2-star motel room."

Cr Tully said the families wanted compensation direct from QUU rather than having to deal with their own insurance companies for a second time.

"I would hope that major law firms such as Maurice Blackburn would consider a class action against QUU for the second-rate water supply network they are operating across a major part of southeast Queensland."

"QUU needs to lift its game and the fat cats running the organisation should be forced to shape up or ship out."

Cr Tully said QUU had sent a junior PR officer to the scene of the disaster when the CEO should have been on the spot to apologise and listen to the distraught residents.

"QUU has really let local residnets down this time."

Cr Tully said the broken water main which links Goodna to Bellbird Park should be replaced in its entirety or decommissioned.

QUU was established by the state government in 2010 to take over water supply and sewerage services in Brisbane, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer and Somerset.
Graphic YouTube footage:

Channel 7 News: James Hardie v Ipswich City Council

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