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Zamprogno blasts his own Council over lack of response or remedy for Oakville flood victims
First it was the residents of Upper Colo who as a last resort had to take to social media to get Hawkesbury Council to mend their roads.
Now Council’s lack of response to a couple whose house flooded at Oakville back in March – it appears due to a major housing development across the road from them – has gone one step further with leading independent councillor Nathan Zamprogno taking the rare step of publicly criticising the lack of Council response or remedy.
James and Nadine’s home was flooded in March during a heavy rain event and yet come June 8 when they approached councillors Nathan Zamprogno and Mary Lyons-Buckett for help they said they still had not got a proper reply or response from Council about who was responsible and who would pay for repairs.
And in a damning indictment of his own Council, Cllr Zamprogno says even he cannot get a response and says there are unanswered questions about liability.
“James and Nadine’s story really stands out to me as an example of what’s wrong with our Council and why it badly needs reform” – Cllr Nathan Zamprogno
Here’s Cllr Zamprogno’s powerful video.
We too asked Hawkesbury Council – over a week ago – for comment on the plight of the couple but have received no response from their communications department aside from ‘we’ll get back to you”. We gave them a deadline of last Wednesday. That lack of response is sadly not unusual.
One of the major issues – aside from the lack of response to James and Nadine over three months – is who is responsible for the damage to the couple’s home? Is it Council, who would normally carry out any compliance issues, or the builder – Allam Homes?
At the time of the floods and heavy rain, James said no sedimentation control measures appeared to be in place at the site – which is part of the intensive Vineyard Stage 1 development – with water simply flowing from there like a river, across the road, straight down their driveway and into their home.
The house has not ever flooded in at least the last 21 years, but in March around 80% of the home was inundated with dirty water.
Cllr Zamprogno said James and Nadine had tried every avenue to get a response from Council and eventually in frustration turned to him and Cllr Lyons-Buckett, both of whom have tried to get answers for the couple.
“They have never experienced any level of flooding in that house before,” Cllr Zamprogno said.
“They asked Council for intervention and didn’t get it so then they asked myself and Cllr Lyons-Buckett to try and get an answer from Council staff about what’s going on. Two months later we are still waiting for any kind of response.
“I got elected to try and do something about Council’s really bad reputation for customer service, particularly in the area of planning, compliance, and enforcement.”
“So we are going public with this plea – can we please get something done to address why a house that’s been here for 20 or 30 years and has never been subject to any kind of flooding before is now suddenly subject to a torrent of water pouring through their lounge room because the developers have knocked the top of the hill off and it has created a spout.”
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