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Home owner's $350K disaster investment in infamous house

Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. 
Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK300113sbader1

IT IS a tragic circumstance that has seen a house lie dormant for years.

Maxi Bader moved into 222 Elphinstone St after four years of working two jobs and constant saving.

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The Biloela resident paid $350,000 for the three bedroom, two bathroom, single unit dwelling and sunk a further $20,000 into furnishing her first home.

It was described as a sensational property, overlooking a tropical parkland.

It was all too good to be true when disaster struck in 2013.

Maxi Bader's home at 222 Elphinstone St after it was gutted by flash flooding in 2013.
Maxi Bader's home at 222 Elphinstone St after it was gutted by flash flooding in 2013. Contributed ROK310113house3

Flash floods submerged her home in Koongal as Frenchmans Creek and overlying areas went under - it all unfolded literally hours after she moved in.

The question still being asked some four years later, is "who is to blame for this building to go ahead?".

The private certifiers, Rockhampton Building Approvals are copping the brunt of the blame game waged on social media.

They approached The Morning Bulletin yesterday to set the record straight. They are not pointing the finger specifically at anyone, merely taking the target off their backs.

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Rockhampton Building Approval's building surveyor Bruce Krenske with plans showing his company were not at fault.
Rockhampton Building Approval's building surveyor Bruce Krenske with plans showing his company were not at fault. Matty Holdsworth

"It was State Government land, sold to a developer, we were engaged to do the building approval only and did everything possible we could. We could see no reason not to approve the dwelling," building surveyor Bruce Krenske stated.

"If it wasn't self-assessable we would not have approved it. It was not identified as flood prone, it was a residential house.

"We did a thorough search for more 'overlay maps' that may have existed to stop us and nothing came up."

At the time of approval the area was not mapped in a Q100 floodable area. It was only when Rockhampton Regional Council did further mapping two years later that it was identified to be in a flood zone.

Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. 
Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK300113sbader4

"We certainly did our job and did it by the book," he urged.

"To issue a building permit we must do every single check required by law. If we tell the developers we think it may flood, they ask us to prove it. And no map existed at the time to say it will.

"It is just unfortunate that the maps are done now, they should have been done a long time ago.

"If there were any wrong doings against us, Rockhampton Regional Council would have pursued us and we would have been defending ourselves in the Planning and Development Court. Rockhampton Building Approvals would have done all it could to assist the owner for a reasonable outcome for all parties."

222 Elphinstone St and surrounding areas.
222 Elphinstone St and surrounding areas. Contributed

For the last decade RBA has approved over 1,000 buildings per year. The percentage of complaints is too low to record.

Yet this one keeps coming back to haunt them.

"One person on Facebook is out for blood, someone not even associated with this property," he said.

"There are 350 comments online absolutely slagging us.

"We did everything right. We aren't hiding behind closed doors.

"The comments are horrible and not backed up with any proof whatsoever and we just want private certifiers' reputations to stop being dragged through the mud."

RRC general manager regional services Peter Kofod was sympathetic towards all parties.

"This is a really unfortunate set of circumstances," Mr Kofod said.

"This property is affected by creek flooding, not river flooding, and at that stage the creek mapping had not been done and our heart goes out to the family affected by these circumstances."

Topics:  editors picks flash flooding maxi bader rockhampton rockhampton regional council wildweather


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