Fate of wronged pensioner is back in Lismore Councils hands
LISMORE City councillors will finally decide the fate of South Lismore pensioner Christine Anderson in a confidential meeting on Tuesday night.
The council took the extraordinary step of selling Ms Anderson's home in May last year to recover $16,000 in unpaid rates, but the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, costing the council $115,000 in legal fees.
The decision still left Ms Anderson with a $20,000 legal bill plus a rates bill she could not afford and the council refusing (as insufficient) her fortnightly payments of $100.
The council will now decide on her formal application to have her interest bill waived on grounds of financial hardship.
She owes about $13,600, of which half ($6500) is interest charges. Wiping the interest from her debt and freezing future interest would allow her to pay back her debt over the next five years while still keeping up with the annual rates.
Ms Anderson suffers from clinical depression and anxiety and her physical health has deteriorated further over the past 18 months.
"The doctor said it's putting too much stress on me, because it's just not stopping, it's been going on and for so long ... nothing has been properly resolved ... I just still feel like there's pressure on me," she said.
"I don't spend my money on anything now except for medical costs, food and bills."
Lismore councillor Gianpiero Battista said he would be supporting Ms Anderson's cause.
"In light of everything, taking the interest off could help restore some hope in her life and take her stress level down a few notches, so I would agree with it," he said.