Romeo and Anne Giannangelo walk along their quiet cul-de-sac with great-grand-daughter Maddison Finlay and pup Chicko.
Romeo and Anne Giannangelo walk along their quiet cul-de-sac with great-grand-daughter Maddison Finlay and pup Chicko. RON BURGIN

Spreading love across the fence

A SLEEPY street in Avoca is bucking the Queensland trend by being able to name every one of their neighbours.

The residents are at odds with a recent NRMA survey that found fewer than one in five Queenslanders knew all of their neighbours, while more than one in five know none.

The survey also found that more than half of Queenslanders had never had a proper conversation with their neighbours and 40% admitted they would prefer to socialise online.

Catherine Drive residents Anne and Romeo Giannangelo said there was an annual Christmas party held in their quiet cul-de-sac.

“I enjoy the neighbours, it’s a friendly atmosphere here,” Mrs Giannangelo said.

She said the street was so friendly they would often drop keys off at neighbour’s when going away.

“My neighbour looks after everything and you can totally trust him,” she said.

Mrs Giannangelo, who has lived in the area for five years, said there were only two residents, who had just moved in, that she did not know.

Rod Arstall, who lives in Alamein Street, west Bundaberg, has also experienced the pleasure of knowing his neighbours.

“Knowing your neighbours, it gives a bit of peace of mind when you go away to know they are looking out,” he said.

Mr Arstall has been in the area for 21 years and said knowing his neighbours offered more than added security.

“We’re all friends and we talk to each other about what has been happening,” he said.

NRMA spokesperson Sue Hawkins said busy lifestyles and online social networking had both contributed to a drop in neighbourly relations.

“Our research found a third of us believe we’re too busy to get to know our neighbours — and it’s no wonder when you consider nearly 80% of us are spending at least five hours a week surfing the net,” she said.

Ms Hawkins said it paid for people to know their neighbours enough to trust them to keep an eye on their house if they went away.

“Our research also showed that if people did know their neighbours they would be willing to help keep each others’ houses looking lived in while they’re away, and this can really help deter thieves,” she said.



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