Make a claim

Evidence needed from claimants for damage

To make a claim, read the following information then complete the claim for compensation form and include all relevant documents and evidence.

Trees

To make a claim for reimbursement of any damage allegedly caused by trees on public land (which is controlled by us) you need to provide evidence. This can include photos, expert's reports e.g. consulting arborist's report, a plumber's report, or any other extra evidence to show Council trees have directly caused the damage.

It is your responsibility to provide evidence or proof that Council trees have allegedly caused the damage. You must provide this evidence before doing any repairs. Note: under no circumstances are Council trees to be pruned or removed by residents.

Below is a guide only of the minimum evidence needed for claims related to damage to sewer and stormwater, structures, driveways, fences or walls alleged to have been caused by Council trees.

Sewer and Stormwater

  1. Copy of services plan – sewer main – of the property address, sourced from Sydney Water Tap In or Dial Before You Dig or phone 1100 (free service). 
  2. Where you have access to Google Maps (or similar) - A clear copy of the most recent aerial satellite photo of the property address and surrounding neighbours, clearly showing structures and vegetation.
  3. Reports by a licensed plumber and/or other appropriately qualified service provider to include the following information: 
    1. Business name and details, address of property inspection and methodology used.
    2. Pipe type, age and condition, other contributing factors and options to repair the pipe at point of blockage. Please note: Clearing roots from the pipe is not repair. Maintenance of the pipe system is the resident's responsibility. Reference Sydney Water Home maintenance responsibilities page. 
    3. Clear and concise plan of the property’s sewer showing the location of all pipe work, direction of flow and the location of the blockage identified on the plan.
    4. The map must clearly and accurately identify the layout of the private sewer system and blockage location and the plumber's entry point for the internal inspection. Residents may have to engage the services of a plumber, building designer or surveyor to produce such plans (Details regarding pipe layouts may be obtained from survey plans or building plans. A Plumber may be able to map all pipe work onto a building plan. Alternatively, Sydney Water may have records of plans submitted as part of a development and infrastructure installations).
    5. Camera footage is required of sewer system showing the blockage/s and evidence of root ingress. Footage should identify the distance from entry point of inspection to the blockage, which should be referenced to the accompanying property sewer plan. The path of inspection should be clearly marked on the property sewer plan. 
  4. Maintaining and replacing sewer and stormwater lines are the responsibility of the landowner, this includes repairing damaged or aged pipes and clearing chokes.
  5. Replacing an aged or faulty sewer system with PVC up to the sewer mains supply connection is the responsibility of the landowner. Tree roots cannot enter well-constructed, properly sealed, sound PVC pipes with adequate flexibility.

Structures

A structure is anything that has been constructed on the private property with the appropriate approval or consent of the relevant authority, except fences which are dealt with separately in fences or walls along property boundary below.

  1. Where the claimant has access to Google Maps (or similar) - A clear copy of the most recent aerial satellite photo of the property address and surrounding neighbours, clearly showing structures and vegetation.
  2. Council does not carry out investigations on private land. In order to demonstrate root interaction, the claimant will need to engage a professional person (e.g. Arborist, Engineer) to carry out localised excavation on the private property at the point of suspected contact between roots and structures. Any tree roots should be uncovered carefully and left intact with no damage to the outer layer. Claimants should not cut and remove tree roots.
  3. Caution is to be taken prior to excavating. Dial Before You Dig plans should be sourced by phoning 1100 or visiting Dial Before You Dig, to assist in locating the public underground utilities. Residents should adequately determine location of private services, such as water, gas, electricity and phone lines to prevent damage or personal injury. A qualified trade person may be required to safely locate all services.
  4. Caution should also be taken when excavating near brick footing walls or fences above 1.0m high as a full length trench excavation may destabilise the wall/fence.
  5. Tree root diameter, direction, type, whether it appears to be alive or dead and distance to tree/s should all be measured and recorded.
  6. Clear concise photos showing any direct interaction of tree roots to structures at adequate or varying zoom, so as to provide reference to surrounding structures and the property, i.e. photos should have reference to direction and scale by including background structures or using objects of generally known size, e.g. sunglasses.
    See examples of investigation image PDF, 257.2 KB
  7. Relevant independent professional reports are required to support any claims alleging structural damage and the following information, as a minimum, is to be included along with all relevant business details.
    1. Business name and details, address of property inspection and methodology used.
    2. Engineer's reports should also detail the structure’s integrity and standard of construction, including footings, and provide evidence to support any claims made regarding alleged damage by Council Trees.
    3. Identify any/all contributing factors including but not limited to: reactive soils, mine subsidence, age of the structure, earthquake, storm, or flood damage.
    4. Demonstrate that any tree roots are directly interacting with the structure and that the surrounding material is creating pressure between roots and structure.
    5. The Consulting Arborist report is to include/identify all existing and recently removed trees on the claimant's property, immediate neighbours and public land.
    6. The report is to identify which tree/s may be implicated and what options, other than removal, are available to mitigate any claimed damage.

Driveway crossovers on public land

In order to demonstrate root interaction, the claimant will need remove the entire or section of driveway crossover on council land and arrange for Council's Arborist to inspect the site.

Prior to commencing any work the claimant will need to gain approval from Council under section 138 of the Roads Act, 1993 to remove the entire or section of driveway crossover on council land and arrange for Council's Arborist to inspect site, providing at least one week's prior notice to Councils Tree Management Services on 9093 6609 prior to any works commencing. See asset opening permit form PDF, 76.35 KB.

Fences or walls along property boundary

  1. A localised excavation with hand tools on the private property side of the boundary fence/wall at the point of suspected interaction between roots and fence will need to be undertaken prior to arranging for Council's Tree Management Services staff to inspect the site. Claimants should provide at least one week's prior notice on 9093 6609 prior to excavation commencing.
  2. Caution is to be taken prior to excavating. Dial Before You Dig plans should be sourced by phoning 1100 or visiting Dial Before You Dig, to assist in locating the public underground utilities. Residents should adequately determine location of private services, such as water gas/electricity and phone lines to prevent damage or personal injury. A qualified tradesperson may be required to safely locate all services.
  3. Caution should also be taken when excavating near brick footing walls or fences above 1.0m high as a full length trench excavation may destabilise the wall/fence.
  4. To facilitate inspection any tree roots should be uncovered carefully and left intact with no damage to the outer layer. Claimants should not cut and remove tree roots.
  5. To minimise risk any excavation undertaken for the purpose of inspection should be kept to the immediate area of suspected interaction. If in doubt, contact a suitably qualified and insured trade person or service provider to carry out the excavation works.

Penalties 

  1. It is an offence under section 629 of the Local Government Act 1993 to trim, prune, remove, wilfully damage or injure a tree located on public land.
  2. Council may take enforcement action against any person who breaches the Local Government Act, 1993 by injuring, pruning or removing trees on public land.
  3. Such enforcement action may include the issue of a Penalty Infringement Notice or the commencement of legal action in the Local Court of NSW or the Land and Environment Court of NSW. Council may also seek the treatment or replacement of public trees and an order to maintain any replacement until maturity.

Other claims

Potholes

We are responsible for managing 26.4km of regional road and 271.1km of local road in our area. As part of our responsibilities, we conduct regular inspections of the road network and continually assess damaged areas and prioritise repair work in accordance with Council's Roads Asset Management Plan PDF, 3162.41 KB

The road pavement on State Roads is the sole responsibility of the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS). 

You can contact the RMS if you have any claims or concerns about the following state roads in Randwick City:

  • Alison Road between Anzac Pde and Avoca St
  • Anzac Parade between Alison Rd and Beauchamp Rd
  • Avoca Street between Anzac Pde and Frenchmans Rd
  • Beauchamp Road between Bunnerong Rd and McPherson St
  • Botany Road between Beauchamp Rd and Bunnerong Rd
  • Bumborah Point Road between Botany Rd and Military Rd
  • Bunnerong Road between Botany Rd and Garderners Rd
  • Carrington Road between Frenchmans Rd and Darley Rd
  • Southern Cross Drive between Todman Ave and Gardeners Rd
  • Frenchmans Road – Avoca St to Carrington Rd
  • Gardeners Road between Bunnerong Rd and Tunstall Ave
  • Rainbow Street between Anzac Pde and Avoca St
  • Oxford Street between York Rd and Lang Rd

Before any payment of compensation is considered for injury, loss or damage suffered it must be shown it was caused as a result of Council’s negligence. The Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) talks about our responsibilities and liabilities for any road hazards or pothole damages. It also covers the principles used to determine liability.

We recommend you seek professional legal advice if you’re unsure about whether you can claim for your loss or damage.

Garbage trucks

We provide a variety of waste collection, management and disposal services. Waste collection services include for red lid rubbish bins, yellow lid recycling bins, and green lid organics bins.

Collection of household red lid and yellow lid bins is held under contract by Suez Environmental, Recycling and Waste Recovery. Suez takes full responsibility for their drivers and garbage trucks. 

Contact Suez if you have any claims or concerns regarding their garbage trucks or drivers.

Council’s garbage trucks collect Green waste, scheduled, on call clean-ups and dumped rubbish and bins in public domains (parks, beaches and business centres.)

Before we consider payment of compensation for any injury, loss or damage suffered, it must be established that this injury, loss or damage was caused as a result of Council's negligence. The legislation that applies to Council’s responsibility for damages resulting from Council garbage truck is the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) (the Act) and the NSW Road Rules 2014 (the Rules). The Rules are a framework for safe and efficient movement of traffic on NSW roads.

Claims Investigation Process

We’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident to establish whether or not we have any legal liability.

Completion and acceptance of this form does not represent an admission of liability or a waiver of its rights on the part of Council.

Your claim will be subject to investigation and assessed on its merits.

We’ll try to respond to claims as quickly as possible. However the processing of claims is dependent on the supply of relevant information so assessment of your claim may take some time to complete.

If you wish to make a claim against Council, there are two options: 

  1. Make a claim against your own insurance policy - for a Property or Motor Vehicle Claim.
    Your Insurer may consider seeking recovery against Council. Please note that this option may result in an initial upfront payment to your insurer for the applicable excess. In general, insurance companies will pursue Council for reimbursement where they consider Council to be liable. In such cases, the excess amount may be waived. You should discuss this with your insurer prior to lodging a claim with Council. 
  2. Make a claim directly to Council - for Personal Injury or a Property or Motor Vehicle Claim
    If you’re seeking compensation directly from Council for injury, loss or damage arising from an incident, please complete the ‘Claim for Compensation’ form below and provide photographs and documentation as required.

    Council will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident to establish whether or not the Council has any legal liability.
    Completion and acceptance of this form does not represent an admission of liability or a waiver of its rights on the part of Council.
    Your claim will be subject to investigation and the findings assessed on their merits.

Council will endeavour to respond to claims as quickly as possible. However the processing of claims is dependent on the supply of relevant information and, therefore, assessment of your claim may take some time to complete.

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