Typical bureaucracy: Locked gate traps residents during bushfire

In a bureaucracy no-one is responsible and no-one gives a damn

Black Saturday survivors David and Justine Boscaglia at the locked gate near their Kinglake West home on Coombs Rd.

A COUPLE who lost their home on Black Saturday say residents were trapped in their own street during a total fire ban on Sunday because of council bungling.

David and Justine Boscaglia, of Kinglake West, said Whittlesea City Council installed a gate at a fire access track in Coombs Rd more than a year ago to prevent it becoming a hoon playground and had not unlocked it.

Mrs Boscaglia said the couple rang the CFA - which has a key - on Sunday and crews arrived only to discover the padlock appeared to have been swapped. "Basically residents of Coombs Rd are entrapped on a day of total fire ban. It's crazy," she said. The mercury reached 27C in the Kinglake area on Sunday.

Mr Boscaglia said the gate to the track, owned by Melbourne Water, had been locked for two weeks.

Whittlesea Council CEO David Turnbull said an investigation had been launched into why the gates had not been unlocked.


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