To enable us to thoroughly investigate your compensation claim, we ask you to report it in detail as soon as possible.
Prior to seeking compensation we recommend you familiarise yourself with the following information and consult with professional legal advice. While we are sympathetic to injuries or losses, an assessment on whether Council is liable to provide compensation is required.
It is highly unlikely we will be liable to pay compensation for claims relating to potholes or any other hazard on our roads.
In all claims against Council, the onus is on the claimant to prove that negligence by Council has caused their loss. In order to establish a liability a claimant must first establish negligence. Completion and acceptance of a claim for compensation does not represent an admission of liability or a waiver of its rights on the part of Lake Macquarie City Council.
The processing of claims is dependent on the supply of relevant information and can take time.
Loss or damage resulting from an act of nature such as wind or storm is beyond our control. There are also times when injuries are sustained due to failure by an individual to take reasonable care. We will not cover damage caused by a contractor acting on behalf of Council. Such claims need to be made to the contractor directly.
Footpath trips and falls
As a local Roads Authority we are responsible for the footpaths within Lake Macquarie. We conduct inspections of our footpath network and are continually assessing damaged areas and prioritising repair work. When dealing with claims, we work within the framework of our legal obligations and responsibilities under the NSW Civil Liability Act 2002. Section 5F of the Act places a high onus on pedestrians to perceive and avoid obvious risks when walking outdoors. Section 42 of the Act recognises that functions exercised by councils are limited by the financial and other resources that are reasonable available to the authority. Section 45 applies to our responsibility for damages resulting from potholes or any other hazards on our roads including footpaths. Accordingly, we may not be held liable for injury or damage arising from a footpath hazard unless we were aware of the hazard and had not addressed the risk within the reasonable limits of our resources.
We rely on the goodwill of residents to maintain the grassed footpaths, verges and nature strips adjoining their property to a reasonable condition. This allows ratepayer funds and resources to be better directed to other services. On a cyclical basis, we have general maintenance crews engaged to mow
- Grass adjacent to public roads (not fronting private properties/nature strips)
- Grassed medians on local and classified main roads
- Grass in vehicular access lanes servicing properties
- Grass in walkways linking public roads to other public roads, recreation parks, playgrounds and sporting fields
Unforeseen accidents, where a stone or hard object is propelled from mowing equipment can occur. We are sympathetic to persons incurring an injury or sustaining a loss, however the fact that an incident has occurred does not mean we are liable to provide compensation.
Roots or branches from Lake Macquarie City Council trees can occasionally cause damage to property. Our ownership of the tree does not create an automatic liability in the event of a tree causing damage. It is unlikely Lake Macquarie City Council will be liable to pay compensation for claims relating to
- Shedding - trees are a natural part of the environment and the shedding action of trees is beyond our control.
- Weather events - weather events are out of our control and considered an Act of God.
You would be best contacting your insurance company directly to make a claim relating to shedding or weather events.
Waste collection vehicles
We provide a variety of waste collection, management and disposal services. Council waste collection services include general waste (red lid) and bulk waste (twice yearly). Household recycling (yellow lid) and green waste (green lid) bins are serviced by Council contractors. We will not cover damage caused by a contractor acting on behalf of Council. You will need to contact the relevant contractor directly.