LET?S GET MOVING
By YVONNE McLEAN
THE Currumbin Hill Task Force which met this week has called on the collective insurers of the Gold Coast City Council, the State Government and residents to fund remedial work on the safety of homes teetering on the brink at the Lansell Avenue landslip area.
However, should any liability be refused by these authorities the task force has recommended that the city council and/or the state government should set up a fund to carry out remedial work on a without prejudice basis, pending legal action to determine liability.
The task force has called on the council to critically examine and upgrade storm water discharge in the area as stated in the recently completed Morrison Geotechnical report.
These are major items on a statement at this week's council meeting by task force chairperson Cr Chris Robbins.
The Morrison Geotechnical report emphasises that prompt taction is needed to secure short, medium and long term stability at Lansell Avenue.
It states: "The potential for further movement remains not only on the subject site but to the north of the present landslip where discharge of council stormwater onto the slope and overtopping at sewer manholes between Nos 19 and 21 is causing slow erosion."
Many parties may bear some responsibility for the landslip event on June 30, Morris Geotechnical claims. Also the report estimates remedial action excluding costs to stabilise the homes would amount to more than $667,000.
Cr Robbins said she was steely-minded about finding a way forward to this massive land and property erosion devastation.
"Authorities involved must come to the party now. "If we wait for lawyers to sit around and deliberate while homes are perched on the edge of a cliff we could face a real tragedy. Time could run out," Cr Robbins said.
The Gold Coast City Council is presently working on upgrading its stormwater drainage in the area and Cr Robbins said council's own investigation into the stability of Crest Drive and Albany Avenue as well as Lansell Ave must be treated as a supreme urgency.
As the pendulum swings around striving to pinpoint a cause or causes for this disaster it points in a number of directions, including the unprecedented fast flood on June 30 which created a rush of stormwater which probably no drainage could hold back, unstable red soil, high hill land and tree clearing.
Cr Robbins said she was personally familiar with the vagaries of red soil because the home she and her husband built in Tallebudgera Valley was on similar soil which absorbed water then dried out, creating problems for stability.
"In those days there was no soil testing as we know today," she said.
Cr Robbins said the taskforce would pressure for a fast response to the funding plea to respond to this very human tragedy.
At this week's full council meeting Cr Robbins presented 190 individual petitions from local residents calling for council to halt all present and future development on Currumbin Hill until council's planning environment and transport director- ate completed a study on the stability of the hill.
The petition had been initiated by Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey, however Cr Robbins said there were many legal ramifications involved in the call to halt development. At the same meeting the council approved a development application for a pole-type building in Albany Avenue, Currumbin.
Cr Robbins who attempted to have the application deferred was told there was no legal reason for refusing it however before building could begin the applicant must submit a detailed geotechnical report from a qualified geotechnical engineer which addressed the stability of the site and house foundation requirements.