It has been a comedy of errors but Brisbane City Council finally fixes uncovered service pit

A COMEDY of errors has forced southwest residents to wait “years” for buck-passing authorities to fix a large hole next to a footpath.

Residents at the Chapel Gardens retirement complex in Sherwood said they believed the service pit, next to the footpath on Oxley Rd, had been left uncovered for more than a year after works were completed.

Brisbane City Council officers referred the issue to Telstra and then Energex to fix and remove the barricade months ago, with still nothing being done.

But after Westside News made calls last week to Energex, Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey’s office and council, it was revealed the pit actually belonged to council.

Councillor Nicole Johnston (Tennyson) likened the scenario to an episode of iconic British John Cleese comedy, Fawlty Towers.

“If council can’t maintain their own assets and don’t know where they are located, this is simply gross negligence,” Cr Johnston said.

“We’ve been chasing this up multiple times and they (council) keep telling us they’re not our pits.

“Council told me they’re Energex’s — we’ve been at it over a year. This is just stupidity.”

A council spokeswoman said council attended the site last week and made the area safe following reports the pit was damaged.

She said council received 203 reports related to service pits in the past financial year.

“There are tens of thousands of service pits located across the city which are managed by a range of providers such as Queensland Urban Utilities, Telstra, Energex and council,” the spokeswoman said.

“When council is made aware of a damaged pit, council will immediately attend to make the area safe, regardless of who owns the pit.

“Council will then work with other utilities to determine the owner and facilitate repairs.”

The uncovered service pit out the front of Chapel Gardens retirement village. Picture: ELISE SEARSON
Sherwood resident Peg Christie described the pit as an “awful monstrosity” and said “nobody has come near it” to fix it in years.

“There’s grass growing about a foot high around it,” she said.

“Some people are using it as a rubbish dump now.”

Chapel Gardens retirement complex manager Tim Solomon said the pit should have been fixed sooner.

“I think they have an obligation to get the thing tidied up as soon as the work is finished,” he said.

Glad Heffernan said it was not safe for unrepaired service pits to be next to the footpath.

“It’s only got to have someone rip that orange stuff around it, which isn’t very secure, and someone could fall into it,” Mrs Heffernan said.

This service pit on Oxley Rd, Sherwood was repaired after inquiries by Westside News determined it was a Brisbane City Council pit. Picture: SUPPLIED

May 27 — Complaints referred by council to Telstra
June 7 — Telstra advises pits belong to Energex
June 9 — Council refers pits to Energex and says Energex advised a technician would attend to repair and remove barricade mesh
August 17 — Westside News contacts Brisbane City Council, Energex and Minister Mark Bailey’s office
Same afternoon — Energex sends a crew out to pit. Energex crew sees a roads crew working on pit (either TMR or council), advises it is not an Energex pit
Transport and Main Roads staff confirm the pit does not belong to Energex, but belongs to council
August 18 — The pit is repaired



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