Manager of the Proserpine Motel, Sylvia Grewer, in front of the cyclone ravaged building.
Manager of the Proserpine Motel, Sylvia Grewer, in front of the cyclone ravaged building. Peter Carruthers

Prossie plays the waiting game

OWNER of the A&A Motel, Leah Borghero, finds it impossible to forget the events of March 28.

Every time she steps into the back yard a huge highway sign laid horizontal by Cyclone Debbie actually stops the back door from opening properly.

She and her family are still sleeping on camp beds in the living room of the residence attached to the motel.

A second insurance assessor met with Ms Borghero on Wednesday to determine a new scope of insurance works after the original assessment failed to take into consideration a concrete-filled steel pipe that once held up the sign.

Ms Borghero said she accepted to a degree that nothing could be done, but at the same time she questioned the way the insurance industry operated following disasters.

 

Owner of the A&A Motel, Leah Borghero, with a cyclone-felled sign still in her back yard.
Owner of the A&A Motel, Leah Borghero, with a cyclone-felled sign still in her back yard. Peter Carruthers

"I think the insurance (industry) needs a huge overhaul. That is where the let down has been," she said.

"I think the government needs to focus on insurance. For instance you look at our scope of works and have a look at what they have priced this back door... it's just ludicrous."

A standard timber door has been priced by the company at $2500.

"I think they are overpricing everything and not fixing the stuff that needs to be fixed," Ms Borghero said.

"Everyone is going to pay for it in the long run when our premiums go up."

Also playing the waiting game is manager of the Prosperine Motel, Sylvia Grewer.

 

A room in the Proserpine Motel awaits asbestos removal and repair.
A room in the Proserpine Motel awaits asbestos removal and repair. Peter Carruthers

Three of six rooms and the office of the motel were destroyed by the cyclone.

Now a fence around the roofless and gutted rooms has a sign stating: "Danger. Asbestos removal in progress". But nothing is "in progress" Ms Grewer says.

The manager's office has been moved to a vacant room while insurance claims are processed.

Ms Grewer said she expected work to start in the next couple of weeks.

"There is a lot of work to do and a lot of rules and regulation that have to be followed," she said.

"You just have to go along with it all."

The owner of Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium Jeff Boyle said his experience with insurance payouts was mixed.

Repairs are almost complete to the Main St business but work on his Marathon St rental property is yet to begin.

A spokesperson for the owners of the Department of Main Roads building, Marlene Malone, said she received word yesterday from the insurance company instructing the building could be demolished.

Ms Malone said until the tenants had been notified all she could say was the building would come down, but she was unsure when the demolition would begin.

The Whitsunday Regional Council is currently waiting on an assessment from insurance companies in regard to the cyclone damaged chambers.

"It's a bit like a piece of string. Like everyone else we have to sit and wait," a council spokesperson said.

It was unknown if the building would need to be demolished and council would decide on a course of action once it had received an insurance assessment report.


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