Father fights for recognition for Grantham flood victim wife
A SOILED, rotten and torn piece of yellow material and one boot is all that's left of Llync-Chiann Clarke-Jibson after she and her two children were swept to their death in the Grantham floods in 2011.
Her destroyed uniform was evidence before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission sitting at Gatton today during an appeal to resolve if Ms Clarke-Jibson was a Queensland Rural Fire Fighter at the time of her death.
Her husband Gary Jibson, formerly known as Danny McGuire, is appealing against the Workers Compensation Regulator following the death of his wife and two children more than six years ago. Mr Jibson was a rural fire fighter at the time of the 2011 floods.
Along with Ms Clarke-Jibson's ruined uniforms, the Commission saw TV news footage of her the night before her death. The footage showed her moments after she and others rescued a woman who had driven into flood waters in her car.
Defence counsel for the Workers Compensation Regulator Stephen Gray argued Ms Clarke-Jibson was not a rural fire fighter at the time of her death due to an application paper work shortfall.
Grantham Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Vivienne Jamieson told the Commission the brigade voted Ms Clarke-Jibson as a fire fighter at a meeting some months before the 2011 floods.
She said Ms Clarke-Jibson was given uniforms to wear.
Ms Jamieson cried in the witness stand as she was shown Ms Clarke-Jibson's destroyed uniforms.
Rural Fire Services Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said uniforms could not be issued to members if they had not been issued with an ID number, which Mr Gray argued Ms Clarke-Jibson did not have.
Deputy president Leslie Kaufman reserved his decision for written submissions.
Outside court Ms Jamieson recalled the moment she found out Ms Clarke-Jibson and her children had died in the flood waters.
"That hurt very deeply and still does. It will go to the grave with me," she said.
Mr Jibson said the proceedings were not for a financial benefit but "if we get money out of it it goes to (his only surviving child) young Zac.
"I'm just trying to get Llync recognised as a rural fire member which has been a long time coming," he said.
"It brings back a lot of memories for me which hurt but it has got to be done. It's been a shit fight all the way through. Now I wouldn't recommend anyone to be a volunteer any more. I want to see that she's a fire fighter, to get recognised. I'm not after the money, I want recognition but if we get money out of it it goes to young Zac, he's the only one left"
No date has been given for a decision.