Fire compo to court

A Lancefield landholder whose property was burnt out by bushfire as a result of a state government planned burn that got out of control, says he has been forced to resort to legal action to finalise a compensation claim.
Graeme Walker and his wife Adele have commenced County Court proceedings against the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning over the planned burn, which got out of control in October 2015 and burned more than 3000 hectares of land.
The Walkers’ 550-acre property was burnt out, including tractors, vehicles and shedding, and 460 cubic metres of cut and split wood that was ready to be sold in the family’s firewood business.
The family had received some compensation for property loss, however, family spokesperson Cherie Goodson said they were now claiming for the full extent of the financial loss.
“DELWP will not agree upon a value for the wood, but 460 cubic metres for cut and split wood is worth a lot of money and they’ve basically had to start from scratch to replace it,” Ms Goodson said.
Ms Goosdon said the stress of the situation affected her brother Graeme deeply.
“He was very upset about it and he’s come to understand that it wasn’t just lighting the fire and walking away and going back to Melbourne and leaving it to burn, it was also the thoughtlessness of the government department,” she said.
DELWP was unable to comment on the matter as it is now before the court.

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