A house on Paradise Ave that reportedly has a large number of backpackers living in it.
A house on Paradise Ave that reportedly has a large number of backpackers living in it. Scottie Simmonds

Backpackers crammed into homes

A THABEBAN mum is worried two illegal backpacker houses may be in operation in her quiet suburban street.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, claimed a house near her Paradise Ave home continually had large numbers of backpackers staying there.

She said a second home, just metres away, also had many backpackers coming and going.

"Every morning you see them coming out of the house and piling into vans," she said.

The woman claimed at least 10 adults were living in each of the homes, which she said were often left untidy.

"Because there are so many people and they only have two wheelie bins, the rubbish piles up quickly," she said.

She said the bins were moved to the other side of the house after she had made complaints so the smell was no longer as noticeable.

Other neighbours said they had also noticed a long line of backpackers coming and going from the house.

One, who also declined to be identified, said he had once visited to borrow a pair of jumper leads and found "beds everywhere".

"There would have been at least two people per bed," he said.

Bundaberg councillor Greg Barnes said when council received complaints of overcrowding, the matter would be investigated.

But he said when a person rented a home and then charged backpackers rent per bed, often they were not convicted.

"There are various articles of legislation and they have that many loopholes in them that makes it difficult to get a conviction," Cr Barnes said.

But he stressed the council was prepared to "jump through the hoops" if they had information about illegally run backpacker accommodation.

The NewsMail contacted Richardson & Wrench, believed to be handling the lease of one of the properties.

Principal Mark Mergard said he was surprised at claims of overcrowding, and that the issue would be looked into.



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