Local council accidentally crushes woman's car and belongings
A NSW grandmother is still awaiting compensation three months after the local council admitted to accidentally seizing and crushing her car.
Wendy Tucker said she is upset at how heartless the council has been when it came to offering help, fixing its mistake, and being clear about what happened to her 1997 Toyota Camry and personal belongings, while critics described the incident as embarrassing and evidence of incompetence on the Central Coast Council’s behalf.
Mrs Tucker told A Current Affair, "I just thought the council would have been more forthcoming.
"It was my only car, and it had things in it - personal belongings, emotional things - you get attached to your vehicles regardless of how good or bad they are."
Mrs Tucker said that three months ago, she rang the police and council rangers, fearing her car, which was parked near her daughter’s home, had been stolen. The 61-year-old high school science lab assistant claims she was told by the council that the car had been towed, and to expect a letter in the mail that would outline the next steps she should take.
Unfortunately, the next day she received a call from the council informing her that the car had been accidentally crushed. The warning letter from the council arrived a few days later.
Mrs Tucker said, "I thought they were exaggerating but apparently it had been crushed completely.”
Former Central Coast councilor Greg Best said “heads should roll” after the incident. "Surely they should have just sat down with Mrs Tucker over a cup of tea and said 'sorry, here's what we're going to do'.
"This council wracked up the largest financial debt and financial loss of any council in Australia and it has now gone to an all time high in its incompetence and embarrassment."
The Council confirmed the car was left in a street at Point Clare for roughly eight weeks during NSW’s COVID-19 lockdown, and that it towed the vehicle following complaints from nearby homeowners. While this is within the council’s power, it is required to contact the registered owner and give warning that the car had been impounded.
The Central Coast Council provided two statements to A Current Affair, and later offerred an apology to Mrs Tucker. Their most recent statement says, amongst other things, that the “Council apologies to the car owner that adequate notice wasn't provided by letter to the registered address, and despite Council undertaking the process lawfully within the legislation, compensation is assured to the car's owner.”
Image: Channel 9