Brian Ross
Brian Ross

Couple fuming over jungle-like neighbouring property

BRIAN and Rosemary Ross have reached the end of their tether regarding an overgrown property situated next to their West Gladstone home.

The Walters Ave property in question has been abandoned for more than 12 months, with ownership of the land currently in the hands of the bank.

Its jungle-like front yard has become an eyesore and a reptile and vermin- invested hazard, which sprung an unwanted, and potentially deadly, surprise on Mrs Ross last month.

She was hospitalised after being bitten by an unidentified snake.

Contact was made with the Gladstone Regional Council in early 2017, however, no reply was received until the middle of the year.

A December phone call to council following Mrs Ross's snakebite had some effect, with the real estate company responsible organising for the grass to be mowed.

However, this hasn't alleviated the main cause of the problem - a large pile of dead branches, leaves and palm fronds, a perfect home for unwanted creatures.

"This goes back 12 months where bits and pieces have been done but the issue is it hasn't been maintained since it's been vacated," Mr Ross said. "My wife has contacted council a couple of times and I think that's why the yard was mowed - it was a token but helpful gesture."

Mrs Ross didn't see what type of snake bit her but she's fed up and unwilling to venture into her backyard any time soon.

"After speaking with the snake catcher he reckons it was probably an eastern brown," she said.

"I had shoes and socks on and it bit me just above the sock on my left leg."

Overgrown and unkept yards aren't just an issue exclusive to the Ross's, with many properties around town left in a similar state.


A vacant property in Oaka Street in the hands of recievers.
This vacant property on Oaka Street is in the hands of receivers. Mike Richards GLA030118GRDN

The council said members of the public could report an offending property through Council's Online Services or via phone, email or post.

"Council recommends that members of the public contact landowners directly, including Department of Housing to report overgrown properties, alternatively they can be reported to council for investigation and action," a GRC spokesperson said.

"Council has to ensure that the correct owner is identified and established before commencing any proceedings. Council's policy is to ensure these properties are attended to as expediently as possible, however... the process may take in excess of six weeks."

Further information can be found on Council's fact sheet or alternatively under Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011 and Subordinate Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011, both of which are also available on Council's website.