A BUNDABERG couple are furious after the council has so far refused to take any responsibility for the damage to their burst water pipes which they believe was caused by a gum tree growing on council land.
Wendy Everett and Bill Hunt noticed water seeping up from the driveway of their Elliott Heads Rd property about three weeks ago.
"We were getting ready to leave on holidays," Mr Hunt said.
"We turned the water off because we didn't want to come back to a massive water bill.
"When we got back I dug up the driveway and found the tree roots wrapped around the pipes all the way up to the house."
Mr Hunt said he contacted the council immediately after finding the problem but was "disgusted" by its response.
"They said it wasn't their responsibility - they didn't even come out and take a look," he said.
Mr Hunt said he had engaged a solicitor, fearing the damage bill could mount into the thousands of dollars.
He said he was contacted by the council late yesterday afternoon, and was told someone would come to assess the problem, but believes it was only as a result of him threatening legal action and contacting the NewsMail.
"The council's actions are disgraceful - they would have just tried to fob us off," he said.
"How many other people has this happened to that just say, 'okay, I'll have to pay', and don't take it any further."
A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesman said Mayor Mal Forman was consulting with staff to see what could be done.
"As (he) currently understands, whatever is inside the boundary of a private residence is the responsibility of the property owner," he said.
"However, the Mayor is looking for clarification regarding the possibility of similar circumstances in the past and council's response in those instances."
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