His house is flooding but they want him to pay thousands
BY HIS own admission, Ken Mozley is a quiet bloke who doesn't like publicity.
But this Aussie battler has come forward to share his tale of flooding and drainage woes in a final act of desperation to resolve the impasse in his "David vs Goliath battle” with the Livingstone Shire Council.
Mr Mozley, 63, who works as a cleaner and has lived in Rockhampton for 45 years, said there used to be flooding issues in the park next to his property two decades ago.
"It was overflowing the storm water drains under the road, cutting and washing out the road and some fences back further down the hill,” he said.
It was around that time that Livingstone Shire Council built a water retention dam next to his house and consequently, Mr Mozley's backyard has been flooded in every major rainfall event since.
"It was a good idea, they built the dam to slow the water and hold it back to let some of it clear before it started releasing.
"I'm quite happy with what they've done but it's impacted on me.
"These regular flood events caused by the dam can cause significant problems to myself, by washing out fences and fruit trees and vegetable gardens as well as leaving a nasty rotting odour as they recede.”
Mr Mozley said he could have argued for council's assistance to fix his backyard but instead spent $7000 flood proofing his backyard himself by raising the land level and build a retaining wall.
An unexpected consequence of this work Mr Mozley's grey water could no longer be dispersed from his backyard.
A plastic pipe he used to fix the problem by channelling his grey water through the retaining wall into the neighbouring park drew the ire of the council's plumbing inspector.
Seeking advice from a plumber and a soil tester, Mr Mozley determined the best method to solve the problem was to make some simple modifications with his set up and put in a new pump.
Unfortunately the plumbing inspector vetoed his plan saying it needed to be upgraded to a new aerated waste water treatment plant costing about $12,000 - $17,000.
Mr Mozley said the addition of the small submersible pump was considered to be a modification and made it non-compliant under the new act which did not exist at the time of the original installation.
The new septic system would also have to be installed in the area Mr Mozley had ear marked for the construction of a shed and to plant new fruit trees.
He wrote to Livingstone Shire Council after the plumbing inspector vetoed his plan, hoping his letter would be tabled at a council meeting explaining his situation and requesting help to pay for the upgrade to his septic system given their role in creating the flooding situation.
Sadly this letter never made it the intended readers which Mr Mozley suspected could be due to an attempt to censor his case.
A Livingstone Shire Council spokesperson confirmed the plumbing works were completed without requisite approval saying the disposal of domestic grey water in the manner undertaken unlawfully by Mr Mozley presented a public health risk.
"Council has discussed options to rectify this matter, and whilst agreeing no action would be taken against Mr Mozley for the rock wall, council requested the relevant plumbing be relocated upon Mr Mozley's premises to eliminate the public health risk.
"Continued unwillingness to undertake remedial actions to eliminate the public health risk resulted in council commencing enforcement action, and Mr Mozley did not take up his legal right to appeal as notified in the enforcement notice.”
They said Mr Mozley could remove the rock wall and associated fill, therefore returning the grey water system to its original design.
"It was confirmed that the level of works to the land (i.e. remove rocks and return land to original levels), would not incur the need for approval; and maintenance and repair works associated with the plumbing would also not require approval,” they said.
"Therefore Mr Mozley would only be required to cover the costs associated with works undertaken without approval.”