Request for compensation
From time to time, injury or damage may arise from a circumstance that you believe was due to Council’s wrongdoing or negligence.
In such an instance, you could make a request for compensation to Council.
Please note: The mere occurrence of an incident does not equate to an automatic requirement for Council to pay compensation. You can obtain your own independent advice at any time.
Damage from the condition of a road or footpath
The Road Management Act 2004 requires an individual or company seeking compensation for property damage arising from the condition of the road or footpath, to pay the first ‘threshold amount’ of any claim regardless of liability (this includes motor vehicles, clothing, glasses etc).
The threshold amount is indexed annually by the Victorian Government in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.
Where Council is liable to pay compensation for property damage, the payment is reduced by the threshold amount which is valued at $1,460 for the 2020/2021 financial year.
How to make a request
You must first notify Council of the incident that you believe caused the injury or damage. This can be done by submitting a Public Incident Report.
To request compensation you can then submit a Request for Compensation.
The request must be completed in full and include:
- the detailed circumstances of the alleged incident
- the amount of the loss you are claiming
- evidence of the loss such as photos, repair details, invoices
- evidence of how you believe Council has been negligent and caused your loss
- a signed and dated declaration
It is best to submit as much information as possible to help Council assess the request. Depending on the type of incident, this may include photographs and documents such as repair quotes, invoices, receipts, medical reports or engineer’s reports.
Note: Completion and acceptance of the request form does not represent an admission of liability or a waiver of rights on the part of the Council or its insurers.
The claim assessment process
Once your request is received, Council’s Risk Management Officer will review it to make sure that all the necessary information has been provided. We will contact you if more information is required.
All reports and claims for compensation are subject to thorough investigation.
Each claim is assessed on its own merits to establish whether or not Council has any legal liability to pay compensation or not.
Once the assessment process is completed you will be advised of the decision whether your claim has been accepted or denied.
What is the assessment timeframe?
Assessment of a claim can take up to four weeks.
This timeframe can be longer due to delays in obtaining information and the complexity of the request.
When is it unlikely that Council is liable to pay compensation?
It is unlikely Council will be liable to pay compensation in the following circumstances:
- If you are not able to establish the cause of the damage.
- If you have not completed a Request for Compensation with the appropriate detail or supporting evidence.
- When the damage was caused by or resulting from a weather event.
- When Council has complied with its Road Management Plan(PDF, 4MB) which sets out the standards by which it maintains its roads and footpaths.
- When incidents are on roads or footpaths which are not on Council’s Public Road Register(PDF, 2MB), eg. arterial roads and private access roads.
- When the damage was caused by tree roots when Council was not previously aware of the problem.
- When the damage was caused by a contractor acting on behalf of Council, eg. roadworks, construction or maintenance. These claims will be referred to the relevant contractor to respond directly.
- If incidents relate to the condition of pit lids or other infrastructure belonging to utility companies such as telecommunications, NBN, water, power and gas companies. Refer to the relevant company website for information on how to make a claim.
If the asset and damage is the responsibility of the property owner or others. For example, stormwater drains on private property.
What can I do if I don't agree with the decision?
If you do not agree with Council's decision in relation to your request, you can:
- Provide any new information in support of your claim to be considered.
- Obtain your own independent advice at any time.