A grass fire in the spare allotment next door to Noel and June Dioth of Charlemont Street, Maryborough, singed plants on their bordering fence.
A grass fire in the spare allotment next door to Noel and June Dioth of Charlemont Street, Maryborough, singed plants on their bordering fence. Jocelyn Watts

Couple's fury over unmown lot

A MARYBOROUGH couple who “begged and pleaded” with the Fraser Coast Regional Council for six months straight to do something about a grassy allotment next door to their house say they are furious nothing was done before it was too late.

Noel and June Dioth said they had “worried for months” about the grass because they believed it was a fire hazard.

Lo and behold, last Thursday afternoon the Dioths found themselves facing what they had always feared – flames racing across the allotment towards their Charlemont Street home.

“The fire started near the railway line and it was just very lucky Noel was home at the time,” Mrs Dioth said.

“A lot of the neighbours are away – it might not have been noticed before it was too late.”

Mrs Dioth said that by the time she arrived home to help her husband two fire trucks had arrived and the fire had burnt all the way up to their fence line.

“I was terrified. It could have burnt our house down.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council executive manager of environmental health and regulation Andy Gaze said the allotment had been inspected monthly due to the frequent requests.

“Because of the prolonged dry conditions at each inspection, the grass was only 50mm tall, with occasional taller seed heads,” he said.

He said the council could only take action if the property was deemed to be unsightly or a “harbour for vermin”.

Mrs Dioth said she was still upset that the council had refused her requests to have the allotment mown.

“They kept telling me it wasn’t high enough to make the owners mow it – but it was high enough to have a fire two foot high.

“There’s an allotment at the bottom of the estate and the council are mowing that every time they mow the park – but they won’t mow this allotment.

“Anybody would think we don’t pay rates.”



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