News

Scam targets flood victims

Bill Campbell, who lost his Murphys Creek home in the January floods, has received a bill for works carried out by what he thought were volunteers.
Bill Campbell, who lost his Murphys Creek home in the January floods, has received a bill for works carried out by what he thought were volunteers. John Farmer

FLOOD victims have become targets of a scam which involves them being billed for volunteer work done in the aftermath of the January 10 tragedy.

Bill and Pam Campbell, whose Murphys Creek home was destroyed in the floods, were some of the first people targeted.

In January last year, Mr Campbell was approached by a team of workers with heavy machinery offering to clear flood debris off his block.

He believed the work was to be done on a volunteer basis.

But Mr and Mrs Campbell have since received an invoice demanding $2750 for the use of an excavator and $405 for the hire of a tip-truck.

"We were shocked," Mr Campbell said.

"There was no doubt the work was done by volunteers.

The invoice was sent from Popazash Pty Ltd, of which Paul Morrison claimed he was a director. The company trades as Kildare Pastoral Company Queensland.

Fellow Murphys Creek resident Gerald Handley was also targeted with an invoice from Platinum Drilling and Transport demanding $618 for the use of an excavator.

That invoice is believed to have come from Mr Morrison.

At the completion of the volunteer work, Mr Morrison's company was appointed a major contractor in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council's flood recovery work.

The works were based in Murphys Creek, Helidon and Postmans Ridge.

Sub-contractors who worked for Mr Morrison are now owed more than $112,700.

Legal documents show that Kildare Pastoral Co was deregistered in 1993, that Mr Morrison had never been a director of Popazash Pty Ltd and that he was an undischarged bankrupt.

The Australian Business Number supplied by Mr Morrison was a personal one registered to himself.

Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss warned flood victims across Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley to be wary of the scam.

"It is disappointing that at the same time we see the best of mankind we also see the worst," he said.

Mr Rickuss told Parliament that Mr Morrison had used Platinum Drilling and Transport as a "cover for his deception, roguery and downright dishonesty".

"People need to be wary of any unexpected invoices," he said.

"If they're unsure of them, don't pay them and contact the relevant authorities."

A complaint has been lodged with Queensland Police and investigations are continuing.

But Mr Morrison claimed he was still owed more than $300,000 for work done for Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

"When we get paid, our subcontractors will get paid," he said.

Mr Morrison said he had dedicated a lot of time to the region in the wake of the floods and was now himself a victim.

"I've done more for that community than anyone else."

Lockyer Valley Regional Council is seeking legal advice on the matter.

Topics:  bill, floods, lockyer valley, lockyer valley regional council, machinery, scam


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

A Q&A; with new Tourism Whitsundays CEO

FRESH FACE: Craig Turner is the newly appointed CEO of Tourism Whitsundays. Photo contributed.

Craig Turner is the new CEO of Tourism Whitsundays

TJ: Michael Jackson’s double Conway-bound

HE’S “BAD”: Michael Jackson impersonator ‘TJ’ is coming to Conway.

TJ: Michael Jackson’s double Conway-bound

Extra staff at Telstra for NBN switch

IT'S HERE: The Telstra team at the Whitsunday Plaza store where NBN arrived today. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

NBN has gone live at Telstra stores.

Latest deals and offers

Olympians heading to Hamilton

TWO Olympic stars, Libby Trickett and Eloise Wellings, will visit Hamilton Island this weekend for the Active Women’s weekend and annual Mother’s Day Classic.

Myer Lasky Drive vandalized

No Caption

People have vandalized a wall at Myer Lasky Drive, Cannonvale

A Q&A; with new Tourism Whitsundays CEO

FRESH FACE: Craig Turner is the newly appointed CEO of Tourism Whitsundays. Photo contributed.

Craig Turner is the new CEO of Tourism Whitsundays

TJ: Michael Jackson’s double Conway-bound

HE’S “BAD”: Michael Jackson impersonator ‘TJ’ is coming to Conway.

TJ: Michael Jackson’s double Conway-bound

Extra staff at Telstra for NBN switch

IT'S HERE: The Telstra team at the Whitsunday Plaza store where NBN arrived today. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

NBN has gone live at Telstra stores.

What's on in the region this long weekend?

Wintermoon Music Festival, Camerons Pocket, April 30th- May 3rd, 2015. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury

Take a look at what's on in the region this long weekend.

Federal Police Defuse Dance Bomb

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

NSW Police join Dance Challenge

NSW Police show their moves at Manly Wharf.

Manly Wharf is the backdrop to NSW Police running-man dance entry.

Scotland Police accept Dance Challenge

NZ Police doing the running man dance.

Australian Federal Police say watch this space but NT Police feel ignored.

Sales underway at exclusive real estate locations

Funnel Bay, a 55 acre waterfront development, is six minutes from the main street of Airlie Beach. Photo Lucy Smith / Daily Mercury

Residential blocks costing up to $2.25 million

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog