Aussie homeowners 'live in fear' as properties slide down mountain

Residents are pleading with their council to initiate a buyback scheme as fears for their safety grow.

More than a dozen homeowners who thought they were buying their very own slice of Australian paradise are now living in constant fear of heavy rainfall.

The property owners who once enjoyed the scenic views from the subdivision on The Shelf Road on Tamborine Mountain, near Brisbane, say their dream homes have become a nightmare since floodwaters ravaged the area in February last year. It has continuously been plagued by flooding since, including “unprecedented storms” in south-east Queensland on Christmas Day, making residents nervous anytime the heavens open up.

Kim's home where it has shifted two metres and the small piece of land holding it up. Kim is circle inset.
Kim, who built her home on the mountain more than 20 yers ago, says the front of it has dropped by two metres. Source: A Current Affair

“[I am] very very frightened, quite traumatised when you see how we are living. Where’s the peace of mind?” Kim, who built her home on the mountain more than 20 yers ago, told A Current Affair.

She claims the front of her home has dropped by two metres, with shocking footage of the property showing just a small piece of land holding the structure in place. “We live in fear, we live in limbo, we can’t live here and we can’t not live here,” she lamented.

House 'starts to move'

The long-time Queenslander is not the only resident concerned for their safety and property — there are 13 homeowners in the subdivision. Leon and Olga told the program that after the area received 800ml of rain in one night, their “house started to move”.

“Nails were popping, timber was tearing, we thought it was going to fall down on the top of our heads,” Leon said, explaining they will soon have to move out of the “unsellable” home because the “land keeps moving”. The couple’s back deck pulled away from their house after the concrete slab underneath sunk, tilting the property by 20cm.

Leon on his back deck, which has shifted and the metal beams holding it up underneath.
Leon said his house began to move after the area received 800ml of rain in just one night. Source: A Current Affair

Council declines buyback scheme

Despite pleas from those living on The Shelf Road, a statement from Scenic Rim Regional Council to the couple states it will not be undertaking a buyback scheme.

“Council has considered issues you have raised with respect to your property, and the content of the recent structural engineering report and the broadscale geotechnical engineering report obtained by council to assist in understanding the nature of the failure and risk to residents,” the statement, seen by ACA, said.

“Council has liaised with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) with respect to whether there may be buy-back assistance available to you from that authority and have been advised that applications for the Voluntary Home Buy-Back Scheme closed sometime prior to the QRA conducting damage assessments in July 2023 and then bringing this matter to council's attention.”

Homeowners claim a report commission by the state in 1982 and obtained by them said the land where the subdivision was built was deemed not suitable for development, however the construction was given the all clear in 2000.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Scenic Rim Regional Council for comment.

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