Kathy and Peter Morcus sustained severe damage to their home in Springfield Lakes during Saturday's storm.
Kathy and Peter Morcus sustained severe damage to their home in Springfield Lakes during Saturday's storm.

Hail scammers threaten what makes Ipswich great


ON SUNDAY morning I had the privilege of being invited into the homes of people who were no doubt feeling the type of trauma and confusion that only comes with extreme weather.

I say privilege not because I particularly enjoy introducing myself to people whose lives have just been turned upside down, but because it is always a surprise to me how stoic these victims of the weather are, and I consider it a privilege to tell their stories.

As soon as I walked into the home of Peter and Kathy Morcus, I had flashbacks to the 2011 floods.

With their roof punctured like Swiss cheese and their ceilings caved in almost right through the house, the Morcuses' lives were laid bare in an abject, soggy pile - it must have been hard to know where to start cleaning up.

Yet, having just met this stranger who pulled up out the front of their house, they were more than obliging to talk me through what had happened.

I don't know how I would react if the shoe was on the other foot.

That's why it is a great privilege to have that level of trust from Ipswich people, and sometimes it is only through dealing with them in the most traumatic times that you truly appreciate what it means to be allowed into someone's home to listen to their story.

We are truly lucky to still have that trust in the community, but there is something that I believe threatens that trust.

You may have read that scammers have been reportedly targeting the victims of Saturday's hail storms in Springfield Lakes.

These bottom feeders of society have identified an opportunity to make a profit out of the pain being felt, and have gone about targeting people who can least afford to be taken advantage of.

The thought of people who have just lost their homes and cars being ripped off makes me sick.

The net result of all this, of course, is that people are going to develop less trust in those who come knocking on the door in times of trouble.

This could include people who are genuinely out there to help in a time of need.

Helping each other in times of need is a famous Australian trait, and it is something Ipswich does as well as anyone - perhaps better - as seen in 2011.

If the reports are true, and I believe they are, then there has never been a better time for that famous Ipswich spirit to come to the fore.

It is a shame that people like these scammers exist at all, but it is worth remembering they are still outnumbered by the good among us.