A St Kilda family is fed up with having to move from pillar
to post, waiting for their Ravelston St house to be rebuilt
after it was severely damaged by a falling three-tonne
boulder in June.
Jennie Roome said she and her husband Steve awoke terrified
when the boulder, half the size of a car, rolled down the
hill behind their house and through Mr Roome's daughter's
bedroom about 3.30am on June 19.
Steve and Jennie Roome stand next to a three-tonne boulder
which rolled off a cliff at the back of their Ravelston St
house and into their daughter's bedroom, demolishing her
bed. Photo by Craig Baxter.
''It came off the hill behind our house and brought down
a whole pile of rocks. Some landed on the deck, but one large
boulder went into my 13-year-old stepdaughter's bedroom.
''It completely demolished her bed. It rolled right over the
top of it. If she was in it, it would have killed her.''
Fortunately, she was staying at her mother's house with her
11-year-old sister at the time.
Mrs Roome said the incident petrified her boys - aged 3, 4
and 6 - who were in the house.
The overriding emotion is now frustration and desperation.
The family was told to leave the house because it was unsafe
and that it would take four to six weeks to sort the
insurance and repair the home.
Mr Roome said they had now been out of the house for three
and a-half months, living in relatives' homes, friends' homes
and a camping ground. The insurance money they used to pay
the rent on their current accommodation was expected to run
out at the end of next week.
While they had been told by EQC they would receive payment to
repair the damage to the building and secure the slip in the
back yard, Mr Roome said they had not yet seen a penny.
He was also critical of Cerno, a loss-adjusting organisation
hired to independently evaluate the damage.
''I'm angry at them and how long they've taken to send a
report on the damage to EQC - and their lack of
''We're getting desperate now. We were told it would be
sorted in four to six weeks. If we had known it was going to
take so long, we would have signed a six-month rental - not
move the family from house to house.''
Cerno group services chief executive officer Dean Garrod said
there were ongoing concerns about the safety of the rock face
behind the Roomes' house, and investigations into its
stability took longer than expected.
An EQC spokesman yesterday confirmed settlement of the claim
''I can't provide an exact time frame but it will be days,
''Claims for events outside Canterbury usually take three to
six months to complete, so this is within the normal time
frames for settlement,'' the spokesman said.
Mr Roome said Click Property Management, the company renting
out the property in which they were living at present, had
been very generous and offered to let the family stay for
another month rent-free while the issue was dealt with.
''But if it's not fixed by then, we don't know what we're
going to do.''