LAWN TALK: Jeff Nichol has complained to the council about this vacant house in his street because the long grass is a perfect place for snakes.
LAWN TALK: Jeff Nichol has complained to the council about this vacant house in his street because the long grass is a perfect place for snakes. Mike Richards

Messy yards is a reason to complain for 265 residents

PEEPING over the neighbour's fence and seeing a messy yard is enough to make a home owner's blood boil and Gladstone residents aren't letting it slide.

Complaints about neighbour's yards have been bouncing into Gladstone Regional Council at a rate of 2.7 a day from September to February - that's a total of 265.

Meanwhile in that time Rockhampton Regional Council has had 197 and Mackay Regional Council has had 275.

Out of those 265 complaints in Gladstone, five people have been given fines of $589 totalling $2945.

Which is a low rate compared to Mackay which has handed out 21 fines and Rockhampton with 17.

One of those complaints has come from garden maintenance and handy man Jeff Nichol who has to drive past the long grass in a vacant home on Squire St everyday.

Jeff said with recent rain, grass was growing an inch a day and a lot of people don't realise they have to maintain their yards.

"With this cooch and buffalo grass you could mow it every week," he said. "This is an eyesore and all the brown snakes get in the long grass."

When the council receive a complaint about a messy yard an officer is sent to investigate.

If the yard is breaking the local law requirements then a compliance notice is sent to the owners with a due date to fix it.

The local laws state the property breaches compliance if it has "seriously affected the visual amenity", and is likely to attract reptiles or is full of rubbish.

The officer will return to the property after the due date and if it hasn't been fixed they will contact the owner and try to find a solution.

If they can't come to a solution council contractors will step in and do the work and the owners are given a $589 fine.

As an admission of guilt this reporter has received a compliance notice because his lawn was out of control.

How we fare:

Gladstone

265 complaints

5 Fines of $589

Rockhampton

196 complaints

17 fines of $235

Mackay

275 complaints

21 fines of $589



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