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Snakes alive! The land’s a fire hazard, says Merv

Kawungan resident Merv Dempsey is worried an overgrown allotment next to his home is going to be a fire hazard heading into summer and says council needs to do more to control it.
Kawungan resident Merv Dempsey is worried an overgrown allotment next to his home is going to be a fire hazard heading into summer and says council needs to do more to control it. Tyson Yates

FOR as long as Merv Dempsey has lived in his Kawungan home, the undeveloped land that runs alongside it has been a cause for concern.

It was only when council introduced a new set of local laws last April giving them the power to maintain unkempt allotments, that Mr Dempsey thought eight years of worrying about snakes and potential fires hazards was finally over.

Yet after lodging numerous complaints over the years, the tall grass remains and with dry weather fast approaching, Mr Dempsey has even resorted to mowing it himself.

"Our main worry is fire and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears with council. They don't seem to be interested," he said.

"The new Urraween Rd runs alongside the block, you've only got to have someone toss a cigarette out the window and it will go right up.

"It took me about two hours, maybe three hours just to mow a section of it.

"I was waiting for the owner to come back and do it on his tractor but he never did so I thought I might as well do it myself, which I shouldn't have to."

However, Mr Dempsey's concern the overgrown allotment will increase the risk of fire as well as attract snakes, is not shared by the council.

"The landowner regularly slashes a 10m-wide strip along the edge of the property between it and houses in nearby subdivisions," Cr Robert Garland said.

"The landowner is meeting requirements under local laws and, when possible, slashes other areas after requests from neighbours."

Topics:  fraser coast regional council, hervey bay, kawungan, local laws



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