Request for compensation

People using pedestrian crossing in Lawes St East Maitland


If you are requesting for compensation for an incident, you will be required to provide proof that supports your allegation that the loss or damage claimed has been caused by negligence on the part of our Council and/or our employees or agents.

The process can often take four (4) to eight (8) weeks to complete.

Types of claims

Personal injuries

If you are making a claim after suffering a personal injury, you need to provide:

  • A clear and comprehensive description of the incident
  • Photographs of the exact location where the injury took place
  • Photographs of the injury (if relevant)
  • Receipts or invoices for any medical expenses related to the incident
  • Details of any claimed loss of earnings along with wage records showing details of your earnings and any sick leave pay which you have received

If you wish to make a claim for out of pocket expenses such as medical costs, medication, or lost wages, you will be required to provide documentation supporting your claim such as a letter from your employer, receipts, copies of paid accounts etc.

Property damage

If you are making a claim for damage to your property, you need to provide:

  • A clear and comprehensive description of the incident
  • Receipts and invoices relating to the repair/replacement of the damaged property, and/or provide a minimum of two (2) quotes for repair/replacement of the alleged damage
  • If the damage is to a vehicle, then provide the relevant vehicle details such as registration number and drivers’ details
  • Photographs of the damaged property
  • Copies of any expert opinions, and/or any report to support your claim that the damage is due to negligence by Council
  • Details of all expenses incurred and a statement of the specific compensation you are seeking. You will be required to provide documentation to support all amounts claimed.

Tree incidents

Roots or branches from Council trees can occasionally cause damage to fences, retaining walls, driveways, and vehicles. Council’s ownership of a tree does not create an automatic liability if a tree causes damage. There must be some demonstrated act or omission of negligence by Council.

If you are making a claim for damage to property from a tree that is on Council land, you may provide (but are not limited to):

  • Photographs
  • Plumber’s report
  • Arborist’s report
  • Engineer's report.

Evidence must be provided to Council for consideration before undertaking any repair work. Please note that Council trees are not to be pruned or removed by residents.

Contact Council’s Customer Experience Team on 02 4934 9700 for assistance with trees.

Sewer and stormwater damage

For sewer and stormwater lines within your property, general maintenance and replacement due to ‘wear and tear’ are the responsibility of the landowner. This includes repairing or replacing damaged or aged pipes, and clearing chokes.

If repairs cannot be performed without removing or damaging a tree that is on Council land, you need to contact Council on 02 4934 9700 prior to starting any work.

Potholes and road defects

As part of our responsibilities, Council conducts regular inspections of the road network, but we also rely on the community to report any road defects.

The road pavement of State Roads is the responsibility of Transport for NSW, including Raymond Terrace Road, Cessnock Road, and the New England Highway.

Council’s liability for damage caused by any road hazards or potholes will be determined in accordance with the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW).

Garbage trucks

The collection of red general waste bins is by Council, while the collection of yellow recycling bins is by Hunter Resource Recovery and the green garden organics bins are collected by Solo Resource Recovery.

If you are making a claim for an incident related to a garbage truck, please make sure to contact the correct service provider.

Unlikely compensation circumstances

It is very unlikely that Council will be liable to pay compensation in the following circumstances:

  • You are not able to establish the cause of the damage
  • The damage was caused by or resulting from a weather event
  • When Council is complying with its statutory duties under relevant legislation
  • Damage caused by a contractor acting on behalf of the Council, e.g. roadworks, park maintenance etc – claims will be referred to the relevant contractor to respond directly
  • Incidents relating to the condition of pit lids or other infrastructure belonging to utility companies
  • It has been shown that your actions have contributed to causing the loss/damage.
See Also
Governance and transparency