Owners told to clear land

Owners told to clear land

16 January 2011

published by waverley-leader.whereilive.com.au

Australia — WITH 810 warnings sent out in 2010 to owners of overgrown properties, Monash Council’s tough stance shows it wants to keep its city in top condition.

And of the letters sent to property owners with long grass or overhanging trees and bushes, only 11 were fined for not complying with requests to tidy up.

Monash Mayor Greg Male said long grass posed a “public safety issue” for nearby residents, whose houses could come under threat in the case of a grass fire or from snakes.

“Especially with the weather we’ve been having, in the blink of an eye your grass can be quite long,” Cr Male said.

He said once a letter was sent, owners had 14 days to clear their property before the council cleared it, sending a $200 fine and the bill for the mowing to the owner.

But Glen Waverley resident Barry Osmond said he was “frustrated” it had taken six weeks for an empty block near his property to be cleared.

“Every year I have the same fight but usually, after a letter, the owner comes around and mows,” Mr Osmond said.

The 72-year-old’s home backs on to the former CSIRO site in Kinnoull Grove, which has been vacant for years.

Mr Osmond said he feared his house would be lost if a fire began in the long grass.

Cr Male said the property’s owner was “spoken to” in December about maintaining the land and no fine was issued.

“Obviously municipal amenity is high on my list because we have a beautiful green city and we need to keep it that way,” he said.

The mayor encouraged residents to help out neighbours who could not maintain their yards themselves.

“It could be a good chance to improve the relationships with your neighbours and help out someone in need,” he said.

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