Flood victims like Rockhampton’s Maxi Bader, whose Elphinstone St house was inundated earlier this year, could find it harder to get home insurance, the Institute of Actuaries of Australia says.
Flood victims like Rockhampton’s Maxi Bader, whose Elphinstone St house was inundated earlier this year, could find it harder to get home insurance, the Institute of Actuaries of Australia says. Sharyn Oneill

Council still charging Maxi for rates on house in flood area

IT'S unliveable, but council is still charging Maxi Bader rates for the house which flooding hit three times in one month.

The 20-year-old was arguably one of the hardest hit by the Rockhampton flash floods early this year, with water filling her Elphinstone St home hours after she began moving in.

She was assured that the Elphinstone St house was not in a flood area before she bought it.

She had no warning before a wall of water rushed into the house in January with such force that it dented the garage door.

She is uncertain about what the future will hold, but said she doesn't want to live in the home which has the bottom half of its walls ripped out to avoid mould growth.

"I still have no idea what I can do with it at the moment ... I'm still trying to get the insurance," she said.

"It's been nearly a year now, I'm still basically homeless."

While the council refused to waive Maxi's rates, they did grant her an extension.

Acting council CEO Michael Rowe said the council sympathised with residents whose homes were affected during the flood.

"Unfortunately, council cannot offer extra financial assistance to what is already provided in various recovery funding grants by the State and Federal Government," he said.

Maxi said she was not receiving any assistance, but was still paying $475 a week in repayments, nearly $300 a month in storage fees and $100 a week in rent to stay with friends in Biloela.

This is on top of extras like the $1800 it cost to replace the back fence.

Maxi has also been told the concrete slab the house was built on allegedly doesn't comply with regulations, and the final plumbing inspection was allegedly never completed.

Her mum Karen said they were hoping the council might purchase the house back, or the bank would allow her to reuse her first homeowners grant which they took to pay her home loan.

"The insurance company only pays out what it would cost to make it liveable," she said. "(But) there's no point in rebuilding it. She doesn't want to put anyone else through what she's been through.

"She can't spend the next 20 years paying off the home loan of a house she can't even live in."

Maxi works on the gas pipelines at Curtis Island where she works 28 days on, nine days off.



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