A drain on Rodney's finances
BALLINA'S Rodney Quinlan has bitterly accepted he can't afford the $1300 repair bill to fix his car - and he blames a blocked drain for his troubles.
The pensioner has been battling with Ballina Shire Council to chip in to replace the carpet in his 1993 Mitsubishi Verada after water got into the cabin in the big tides in March this year.
Since then, the interior lining of the car is also damaged, he claims, because of the condensation from the water.
He said the drain outside his flat on the corner of Martin Street and Webster Lane has regularly backed up and caused flooding in the four years he has lived there, and that's why he takes the precaution of parking his car up the road a bit away from the drain.
He did that on the night of March 30, but woke up the next day to find water inside his vehicle up to the top of the centre gear-change console.
He reported the damage to council and got two quotes to replace the carpet.
In early April, he wrote a letter to council - and noted that council workers were outside cleaning the drain on the day he put pen to paper.
He kept the battle up, but to no avail.
Ballina Shire Council, through its insurance company Jardine Lloyd Thompson, advised Mr Quinlan that 'the information ... available indicates that on the stated date there was a period of heavy rain associated with a high tide, which is a common cause of water in the streets at Ballina for which council cannot be held responsible'.
Mr Quinlan said he was disappointed with the decision, and particularly regrets that he didn't take a photo of the water and the positioning of the car on the morning of the events.
He said he wasn't able to replace the carpet or the roof lining because of his limited income.