John Elkin is angry with the Bundaberg Regional Council after it charged him more than $2500 to supposedly eradicate giant rat’s tail grass.
John Elkin is angry with the Bundaberg Regional Council after it charged him more than $2500 to supposedly eradicate giant rat’s tail grass. Max Fleet

Big bill for crook job

A SOUTH Kolan man is fuming after council workers came on to his property to eradicate giant rat's tail grass without permission and slapped him with a $2500 bill for the work, despite the fact the weed is still growing as strong as ever.

John Elkin has been battling the pest grass on his property for 22 years and, earlier this year, he received a letter from Bundaberg Regional Council warning if he did not clear it from his 10ha property, workers would do it for him and send him the bill.

And on September 16, they did just that with four men arriving with police in tow, spraying for about three hours.

Mr Elkin said on Thursday, a bill for $2507.92 arrived in his letter box with a payment due date of December 21.

"They told me my program was inadequate but what they did was also inadequate," he said.

"I was trying my hardest and doing my best to get rid of this problem.

"It's all just coming back before my eyes."

Mr Elkin said the crew missed several spots during their visit.

"Some of it is fully matured and seeding," he said.

'I don't know how they think I could pay this - I'm battling to keep my head above water as it is."

Mr Elkin said he was concerned the bill was not itemised.

"That's a lot of money for three hours of spraying - where is all that money going?

Mr Elkin said the bill also had the wrong dates.

"They were here on September 16 but the invoice date is October 10," he said.

Bundaberg Regional Council natural resource management spokesman Danny Rowleson said about $1800 of that bill would go to paying the spraying contractors with the other costs relating to council workers inspecting the property.

"If any of it has been missed then that's regrettable," Cr Rowleson said.

"That's unfortunate but it's something Mr Elkin is going to have to deal with.

"My understanding is that it was very successful."

Cr Rowleson said the incorrect dates on the invoice were "totally irrelevant" and were most likely as a result of an administrative error.



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