Residents fear overgrown block a risk

A BUNDABERG woman has hit out at the owners of an overgrown block near her property, believing it is a breeding ground for vermin and a fire hazard waiting to happen.

Alma Brazier, of Twyford St, said the neighbouring block - earmarked for development - not only looked a mess but could be a danger to nearby elderly residents, with some sections of grass up to 1m high.

"When we first moved here four years ago, it was cut every few months, but if I remember correctly it hasn't been mowed since winter," Mrs Brazier said.

In early December she contacted her local councillor, David Batt, who told her the road separating the large block of land from her home "acts as an additional firebreak to the property".

She was advised by council the property would most likely be slashed before Christmas. She was also told if vermin were on the allotment, the council could legally take action.

Cr Batt told the News-Mail a report on the property had been written at the end of November last year and it was not considered a danger to residents because it had a fire break of 5-10m.

Prior to January 1, legislation did not give the council the authority to make landowners mow their property, as it could only strongly recommend mowing.

Council health and environmental services director Greg Savage said current council guidelines and thresholds applied only to small residential blocks.

"Council usually deal with and target residential blocks of land. Lawns from 700mm to 1m high are usually classified as overgrown," Mr Savage said.

For larger blocks of land, local laws require only a fire break. When land owners ignore these firebreak requests, the council can step in.

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