Junkyards are a health and safety hazard.
Junkyards are a health and safety hazard.

Junkyards in our neighbourhoods

STROLLING down some streets in the Southern Downs, you begin to ask yourself: "Just how many mowers, washing machines, couches, broken fridges and dilapidated pieces of furniture does one home need?"

It's no secret there are a number of residences across the region that double as a junkyard, but just when does it become a problem and how does the Southern Downs Regional Council monitor it?

SDRC manager of environmental services Tim O'Brien said there were current procedures in place for unsightly yards.

"The council responds to customer requests and local laws officers inspect the area and all unsightly properties are given a notice to clear overgrowth or tidy allotments," Mr O'Brien said.

"If people fail to clean up the properties after a notice is served the council arranges the clearing or clean up by contractors and bills the owner along with an administration fee," he said.

"If a second or subsequent notice is not complied with the same process happens along with a $220 fine being issued."

That's a small price to pay compared to what West Torrens Councillor Kym McKay has proposed for his city in South Australia.

The councillor wants a $1000 fine plus clean-up and removal fees.

While the SDRC had no plans to change the current policies, some locals were vocal with their thoughts via our Facebook page, on what should be done to curb the residential junkyard problem.

Nikki Rundle said "many towns and cities all over Australia have hard rubbish and green waste collection once a year where the councils collects it off your verge".

"I have travelled around Australia and lived many different places and Warwick's the first place I've lived that doesn't have any kind of system like this," she said.

For more information on local laws, see southerndowns.qld.gov.au.



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