Clean-up ordered at house of chaos
A COUNCIL clean-up team has been sent in to clear a vermin-infested home that was deemed to be a risk to public health.
But the owners of the Oakwood home — who were given six weeks’ notice to clean up — claim they are losing precious possessions in the indiscriminate rubbish raid.
Bundaberg Regional Council workers arrived at the Gin Gin Road house about 9am yesterday with a skip, a truck, shovels and garbage bins to begin clearing the house, in compliance with an order from the Magistrates Court.
When the NewsMail was at the house yesterday — after being contacted by homeowner Ida Primavera — one skip full of rubbish was removed, and workers started to fill a second skip as well as the back of a truck.
Council chief executive officer Peter Byrne said the council had first become aware of the mess after a complaint on April 15 this year.
The residence was again inspected on April 16.
IT was determined to be a risk to public health, after evidence of rats and mice was found.
Mr Byrne said the council then began to work with the residents to clean the house, but a public health order issued on May 6 was not complied with.
An enforcement order was issued on October 8, giving the residents six weeks to remove any “accumulated waste, food, dirt and faeces from inside and underneath the house”, discard any litter and clean the house to a suitable standard.
Mr Byrne said council officers made an inspection every two weeks since then, but when no action had been taken, the cleaners were called in yesterday as instructed by the magistrate.
Mrs Primavera, 80, will have to bear the cost of the clean-up, which council officers are predicting will take more than a week.
Sonia Primavera, who lives with and cares for her mother, said she felt the council had gone overboard.
“I’m so mad and angry trying to get my head around it,” Ms Primavera said.
“They are throwing everything into the skip bin and going through our room and chucking everything out. They have stripped it bare.
“There were books in storage bags — they classified that as rubbish.”
Ms Primavera said among the items disposed of were her mother’s bed, books in her bedroom and her late father’s belongings.
A security guard was present throughout, which the council said was to protect its staff, and police turned up twice to calm the owners.
Midway through the clean-up, Ms Primavera’s brother Marco, who also works for the council, turned up in an effort to stop his colleagues from throwing out his mum’s belongings.
“I know how people feel to lose things in a fire but this is 10 times worse because you know the people doing it,” Ms Primavera said.