‘That’s ugly’: Resident seeks action on overgrown yards
OVERGROWN yards can be an eyesore, with the potential to attract or harbour dangers such as snakes, and one concerned resident is trying to get the council to take more action.
Janine Keating was first prompted to push the council to act on overgrown yards after seeing two girls walking on the road due to the nature strip of a yard on Rosella St being impassable.
"As they approached the property, they needed to get out and walk on the road and cars were coming from the opposite direction towards them," Ms Keating said.
"If that footpath was mowed, they would have an extra two metres of safety between them and moving traffic.
"It just seemed a reasonable request."
The council's Local Law No.3 gives provision for an authorised person to issue a compliance notice to a person responsible for the allotment if it is deemed overgrown to the extent the visual amenity of the allotment is seriously affected or likely to attract or harbour reptiles.
Although Ms Keating has submitted a number of inquiries throughout the years, Mayor Matt Burnett said customer requests were only accepted, and compliance enforced, when the customer was directly affected by the overgrowth.
"In most instances, the complainant should be a person that owns or occupies an immediate adjoining property to the subject parcel of land," Cr Burnett said.
Ms Keating said this phrase was further frustration, and at times when she sought action on a property, had been told she wasn't directly affected.
"I argue that I am because I see it and go 'that's ugly'," she said.
"We're supposed to value our properties and value our community."
Mayor Matt Burnett said a complaint from the public lodged in regards to the overgrown footpath at the Rosella St property had been attended to and cleared by a Gladstone Regional Council parks team.
"A complaint was also lodged for (a property on) Flinders St. Council is aware of community concerns relating to that property and are following policy process," he said.
Under the local law, penalty infringement notices of $667 are issued to property owners who don't comply with remedial notices issued for overgrown properties.
Failing that, the council can 'enter and clear' the property with expenses added to the property rates.
"If the property is abandoned or declared bankrupt, council will proceed with the 'enter and clear' without issuing notices, with all expenses added to the property rates," Cr Burnett said.
Ms Keating said the council needed to be more proactive instead of waiting for inquiries to be made, and she would continue to prompt action.
"I'm determined to make a difference, I'm not stopping," she said.
Cr Burnett encouraged residents to raise any property concerns they might have with their neighbour prior to reporting it to the council.
Residents can contact the council to report overgrown properties.
For more, visit gladstone.qld.gov.au.