Claims against Council

If you have sustained an injury, loss, or damage because you believe there has been negligence by Macedon Ranges Shire Council, you can submit a request for compensation claim. 

Before you submit a request for compensation claim, it is important that you read through the information below. 

Claims process

Lodging a claim

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has appointed Echelon Claims Services to manage claims on their behalf.

Once a claim form is submitted, Echelon will manage all contact with the claimant regarding the progress of claims. 

Who are Echelon?

Echelon Claims Services is not an insurance company, they are an independent third-party company that objectively assess Council's liability when requests for compensation claims are made. Echelon assesses claims based on negligence and will only recommend compensation when a clear legal liability has been established.

On what grounds would Council accept my claim for reimbursement?

We want all our residents and visitors to enjoy their experience within the shire; however, there are times when unpredictable circumstances such as extreme weather events result in some kind of loss. Where this occurs, Council can only accept claims for reimbursement where the facts from our investigation demonstrate that Council has liability.

We have an obligation to ensure ethical use of Council funds, including ratepayer contributions. As such, all claims are investigated before Council accepts any liability for payment.

What information should I include in my claim?

For your claim to be considered, you will have to be able to establish that an injury or property damage occurred due to Council’s negligence. You will also be required to provide clear evidence and supporting information to substantiate your claim. For example:

  • Council Reference Numbers
  • Photographs
  • Receipts
  • Quotes
  • Expert reports
  • Witness statements, etc.

Note: under Section 52 of the Wrongs Act 1958, the Claimant always bears the burden of proof. Therefore, neither Council, nor Council’s agents, will be able to provide any assistance in the best way to prove a claim against them.

Claims investigation

How are claims considered?

Complaints about liability of a council for injury or damage are considered against the requirements of the Wrongs Act 1958  and common law (law developed by judges using precedents).

For a council to be held liable for injury or property damage, it must be shown that the council owed a duty of care, that it breached that duty of care and that this resulted in damage.

The Wrongs Act 1958  contains principles that restrict liability claims against councils, including that:

  • the functions performed by councils are limited by financial and other resourcing considerations
  • allocation of financial or other resources is not open to challenge
  • the full range of council’s functions are to be considered
  • council may rely on compliance with general procedures while carrying out its functions.

How long do investigations take?

All requests for compensation are assessed on their own merits, and it may take some time to collate all the relevant information before we are able to make an accurate decision on liability.

This process takes approximately eight weeks. However, this time frame can be longer due to delays in obtaining and receiving information and other factors beyond Echelon Claims Service’s control.

After you submit your claim

Once you have submitted your claim form, Echelon will acknowledge receipt of your claim form via letter, which may outline relevant legislation that may have a direct impact on your claim.

They may also require you to provide additional information. The Echelon Claims Consultant’s details will also be made available.

There's no need for you to contact Council during this time.

Once our investigations have been completed, Echelon will contact you with a response to your claim.

Should I contact Council during the investigation process?

No, there's no need for you to contact us. Once our investigations have been completed, Echelon will contact you with a response to your claim.

Claim outcome

If Council does not accept my claim request, what can I do?

If you are unhappy with Council’s decision to deny the claim, a letter will be sent to you explaining the reasons why your claim was denied.

You will also be given the opportunity to request an internal review. Alternatively, you may contact your own insurer, the Victorian Ombudsman or seek legal advice.

If Council accepts my claim, what do I do?

If your claim is successful, you will be required to sign a Deed of Release and payment will be arranged for the agreed amount.

Can I engage a lawyer to represent me?

It is your right to choose to engage a lawyer at any time. If you do, please ensure the lawyer notifies Macedon Ranges Shire Council of their involvement. Please also bear in mind that if you engage a lawyer, you may need to pay legal costs. We suggest you discuss this with your lawyer.

Pedestrian and personal injury claims

I’ve been injured. Will Council compensate me?

Not necessarily. The courts have stated that councils are not legally responsible for incidents caused as a result of a defect which could have been seen by an ordinary person keeping a proper lookout. If your incident involved an obvious and visible defect, it is likely that Council will have no legal liability and your claim will be unsuccessful.

Roads and footpaths

My incident occurred because of a defect in a road or footpath. Does this mean Council should reimburse my claim?

Not necessarily. It’s not possible to keep all roads and footpaths in a perfect condition all the time. Council maintains approximately 1,700 kilometres of road network within the shire and conducts regular inspections.

The provisions of the Road Management Act 2004 (Vic) require an individual or company seeking compensation for property damage arising from the condition of the roadway or footpath to pay the first $1,580 of any claim, regardless of liability. This includes damage to items such as cars, bikes, and personal items. This legislation threshold has been set by the State Government, not Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

For claims of more than $1,580 a road authority may be held liable if it has failed to meet the criteria set out in the Road Management Plan adopted by the road authority, in accordance with the Road Management Act 2004  (Vic). If this applies in your case, we will contact you to explain once investigations are complete.

Tree incidents

What if the tree roots of a Council tree has caused damage?

If you believe Council’s tree has caused tree root damage, you have a duty to provide evidence of the alleged root impact to private infrastructure. Along with the request for compensation claim form, you may be required to provide further information to include the following:

  • Contact details for the person reporting the damage. We may need to speak to you for further information and/or to arrange a site inspection.
  • Location of the alleged damage.
  • Location of the tree/s alleged to have caused the damage.
  • Details of any past root management works by Council.
  • Photos of the alleged damage. 


How does Council ensure that the information I provide is protected?

Council is committed to protecting your privacy. The personal information requested on this form is collected in accordance with our Privacy Policy for the purpose of considering your claim or any other directly related purpose.


Submit your claim

To submit your claim, fill out the Request for Compensation Form(PDF, 882KB), and post or email it, along with supporting documentation to:

  • Mail: Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Risk and OHS department, PO Box 151, Kyneton VIC 3444
  • Email: