Geyser grouch

A HOMESWEST tenant in North Fremantle who spent an hour trying to report a reticulation breakdown that had turned into a “geyser” has slammed the department for axing its emergency hotline.

The resident, who didn’t want to be named, said she woke up on Monday morning thinking a nearby construction site had started a bit early, but when she went to investigate the noise found the complex’s sprinkler system had failed and water was spraying three metres into the air.

She said her first attempt to report the leak to the department’s Fremantle branch was a failure, with only the receptionist in the office. She was transferred to the maintenance department, but had to wait in the queue for more than an hour before being told it was a “24-hour turn-around”.

The resident said it was unfair her day was disrupted trying to report a problem with the department’s own infrastructure, but was even angrier it had reached that point.

She says the reticulation is decades old, and after a smaller leak a couple of weeks earlier kept flooding her neighbour’s backyard, it should have been a warning that the whole system needed replacing. Instead, she says the department dragged its heels even looking into the problem. Meanwhile the common lawn and garden died.

Housing assistant director general Jackie Tang says the average wait time to report maintenance issues is 13 minutes, but there were delays last weekend due to the impacts of tropical cyclone Damien.

“Communities operates an all-hours maintenance service line for work outside of normal operating hours. This is still available,” Ms Tang said.

She said the sprinklers at the complex were repaired within five days of reported problems, while the geyser was seen to on the same day.

She said the department prioritised jobs which could cause property damage.

by STEVE GRANT

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