Dialysis waste big drain on pensioners
By HELEN JACK
KAY and Daryl McGrath have been residents of Richmond Valley for only seven months, but already they want to move out.
"I can't handle the council," Mrs McGrath said.
"We do not ask anything from anyone, but I am getting so frustrated I just want to take them by the scruff of the neck."
Mrs McGrath said she had been lobbying Richmond Valley Council for free access to its Namoona landfill since July, with no success.
"My husband was placed on peritoneal dialysis after his kidneys failed in 1996," she said.
"The treatment is great but it generates 15 boxes of clean waste each week, and because we live at Shannonbrook we don't have a regular garbage services.
"I take the waste to the landfill in Casino, 41kms away, once a fortnight and at $3.20 each time it adds up to $84 a year."
Mr McGrath said he and his wife were surviving on a pension so cutting costs, wherever possible, was imperative.
"Our retirement was planned but we had to move from our home in Warwick quickly, and with rising house prices we have lost a lot of money," he said.
In his report to council, general manager Brian Wilkinson said the issue of free access to the landfill for Mrs McGrath needed to be considered as part of an overall policy.
"It needs to be recognised that there would also be other hardship and medical or life-support supply situations that could be put forward by other residents of the council area."
In the meantime, council decided at its meeting on Tuesday to give Mr and Mrs McGrath credit facilities at the landfill until a policy has been formulated.
Cr Col Sullivan said it was a shame the McGraths could not have been given the credit facilities when they first inquired and then resolved once council had formulated its policy.
"We are spending a lot of time on an issue that amounts to only $84 a year," he said.
"And the letters going back and forth would cost about the same."