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Neighbour's 'frustrating' scaffolding move leaves elderly Aussie trapped

Melbourne woman Janette Fly said that since the scaffolding went up in October of last year her car has been trapped.

A "considerably frustrated" elderly Aussie woman is being forced to travel several hours per week on public transport after a neighbour's scaffolding limited access to her driveway, resulting in the retiree being unable to move her car from her garage.

Melbourne woman Janette Fly, 78, said since a construction site at the rear of her property erected scaffolding in October of last year her car has been trapped. Fly said that even with a 10-point turn she still can't get her Peugeot out of the garage at her in Port Melbourne home, in the city's southwest.

After four months of construction and with no end date in sight, Fly said she's at her wits' end, being forced to travel two hours each way to her weekly choir practice. The pensioner said she's also had to fork out money every time she tops up her Myki transport card, which she now uses for volunteering and singing lessons.

Melbourne woman Janette Fly trying to move her car.
Melbourne woman Janette Fly said she can't get her car out of her driveway due to her neighbour's scaffolding. Source: ACA

"I can't manoeuvre the car until I've gone out full length," Fly told A Current Affair. "So if I try and move now, I hit the scaffolding. I end up against the scaffolding and cannot move sideways. I go to choir practice at Upwey on Monday nights... and it's taking about two and a quarter to two and a half hours, each way — it has frustrated me considerably."

No construction seen since December, retiree claims

Adding to her annoyance is the fact Fly said she hasn't seen any construction take place at the site since late last year. "It was supposed to come down on the 30th of January this year ... but there's been no one on site since the 22nd of December," she argued.

Melbourne woman Janette Fly trying to move her car.
The pensioner said he's been forced to commute two hours each way so she can attend her choir classes. Source: ACA

The saga dates back to October 12, when Fly received a letter from building company IceCorp stating it would be erecting scaffolding on Monday, October 16 to Sunday, November 12. Fly moved her car onto the street in response, but by October 18, she said there was still no scaffolding, so she drove her car back into the garage. Days later on October 24, the scaffolding went up and Fly's car was stuck.

She said that despite attempts to seek action from council and the Victorian Ombudsman, so far nothing has changed. "Just remove the scaffolding and I can get my car out? It is so simple!" she said.

Council weighs in

A spokesperson for the City of Port Melbourne told ACA, they had "been seeking to assist" Fly "since November last year".

It's important to note that the builder is complying with their planning permit," the spokesperson said. "The Ombudsman investigated and found that there is no evidence that our Council has acted unlawfully... Our council has no authority to compel a builder to work faster."

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