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Deviot Landslip

August 6, 2019

[12.07 p.m.]

 

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for bringing this motion forward.  I must admit I had heard about this previously.  I am really pleased to see that he has been able to bring it forward with this speed.

 

I am well aware of the Rosetta Landslip Act.  I had a constituent with a similar issue.  Unfortunately, theirs was a manmade landslip but I looked into the Rosetta Landslip Act quite considerably.  The landslip issue I dealt with was at Blackstone.  I am quite aware of the devastating impact on the people here and just how it affects you.  I am sure the Chamber is aware that it is not only devastating for the home owners but their whole family life.

 

As the member for Rosevears said, it is not just the money.  The money is one thing, but the mental anguish you continually go through is another.  This has been going on for so long.  I certainly hope the Government will put forward something like a Deviot landslip bill 2019.  My argument would be that it has happened before and it could easily happen again.

 

In the case I dealt with, the difficulty was - and I am sure it is the same with the people from Deviot:  Who do you sue?  Where do you go?  You go to the council.  I am not sure of the response they have had, but in previous dealings with other similar issues, it comes back that you need to sue.  Of course it is, but who do you sue?  There are so many different people you can sue -

 

Mr Finch - An act of God.

 

Ms ARMITAGE - That is an act of God.  But the building inspector says you can sue your engineer; they should have done soil testing.  You can sue the council.  You can sue the government.  It becomes a situation where you really cannot sue anyone because the cost of suing is more stress, and is more cost and more mental anguish.

 

Unless you are personally involved  - those of us here are fortunate enough not to be - I do not think we could understand the pain and the anguish felt by these families.  I think we need to remember it is not just the home owners; it is their whole family.   It has to affect you every day.  It is like one of those things when you go to sleep and you wake up and all of a sudden you remember what is going on.

 

I feel very much for these people.  I really appreciate the motion by the member for Rosevears.  I think the Government and the council need to take some responsibility.  As I said, I have dealt with something in a similar vein, but unfortunately we could not resolve it because it was a manmade landslip.  The Treasurer did come onsite.  I ask the member for Rosevears:  has the Treasurer actually visited the area?  He came and looked at the slide I was investigating for my constituent.  To have members of parliament actually see the affected areas rather than read about them in documents and see what has happened - I give full credit to the Treasurer; in my case he came.  I hope he will go to Deviot, if he has not already.  It is good if members actually look at the problem.  It was great the Treasurer, Mr Gutwein, was prepared to come onsite.  Sometimes you have something in your mind, but when you meet with the families and see the houses, it makes such a difference, rather than just reading about it.

 

Like the member, I am disappointed the families have had to go through this for such a long time.  I have been looking at the report and what came out was very clear.  By labelling something Class II, if someone comes to build and looks at classifications, there is an understanding it is not landslip.  Having been on Launceston Council for nine or 10 years, you understand the classifications, and if someone comes to build and look at classifications.

 

When I was in real estate, they were building in an area in Launceston not far from Lawrence Vale Road.  I could not understand why they were building when it was a known landslip area and they were saying, 'Things are different now; you can build differently', but it was still identified that there had been landslip.

 

In this case, it was not even identified and people were totally unaware.  It is really beyond the realms of comprehension as to what has happened there.

 

I certainly support this motion.  I hope the Government and the local council do something if they can.  I extend my greatest sympathy to those people because I can only imagine how they feel.  It is hard for them and their families - how can you live life normally when all that stress is going on?  I hope it is settled as soon as possible.  I do not think any amount of compensation makes up for what they have gone or are going through and the stress and effects on their families.

 

I support the motion and hope this matter is resolved as quickly as possible.

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