Mount Austin mother fuming after tree reported as 'dangerous' collapses, endangering her children

CLOSE CALL: Jessica Berg beside the collapsed tree with her children Kotari (3), Djkiri (1) and Uriah (16).
CLOSE CALL: Jessica Berg beside the collapsed tree with her children Kotari (3), Djkiri (1) and Uriah (16).

A Mount Austin resident is calling for government agencies to handle maintenance complaints more seriously after a falling tree put her family’s lives at risk.

Jessica Berg reported a dangerous tree to the Department of Housing on October 23 last year, fearing branches could collapse.

Then, in the early hours of Saturday, February 10, her worst fears were realised.

“I was woken by the sound of branches crashing down in my backyard,” she said.

“Parts of the tree had suddenly collapsed on my clothesline and beside the children’s play equipment, causing serious damage.”

SES volunteers attended the scene, removing the tree from the clothesline and securing the area, however, the mother of three said she was still “shaken” by the incident.

“Imagine if my kids had been injured by that tree when it fell,” she said.

“I’ve heard stories about people being crushed by falling trees in their backyards and this was a big branch.

“I honestly think it could have killed them.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Housing confirmed a Technical Inspection had been booked at the property prior to March 2, 2018, but Ms Berg believes that three months is an “unacceptable” length of time to address her concerns.

“That’s just ridiculous,” she said.

“Nobody has been out to inspect it, even after it came down and if I’m being honest, they’re not making me feel acknowledged or safe.

“I know the department is probably busy but I want to make them aware that it’s not good enough and they should be making inspections and responding to requests as soon as possible.”