Upper Hunter Shire Council is reminding residents of the need to mow or slash overgrown properties regularly to protect themselves and their neighbours.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said overgrown land can be unsafe or unhealthy and may harbour or encourage mice, rats and snakes.
“An abundance of rain and warm weather, has given our gardens a real boost,” he said.
“The flip-side is that Upper Hunter Shire Council Compliance Officers are being inundated with complaints regarding overgrown vegetation on residential lots.
“It is up to residents to maintain their properties so they do not become a home for unwanted guests, such as mice and snakes,” Cr Bedggood said.
Council’s Health Building and Compliance Coordinator Christine Robinson said Council has already received over 30 complaints regarding overgrown vegetation in October but it would take time for the complaints to be investigated and any enforcement action to be taken.
“Council is required to follow the procedure set down by the Local Government Act which can take six to eight weeks to complete,” she said.
“For Council to take enforcement action, it must be proven that the property is unsafe or unhealthy and cannot be based on the property’s level of tidiness or appearance.
“Council encourages residents to try to solve the problem amicably by talking to the property owner or manager where possible. Often people are unaware that their activity or lack of property maintenance is causing a problem and are usually happy to address the problem after being notified,” Mrs Robinson said.
“Council strongly recommends that the owners of vacant land establish an agreement with a slashing or mowing contractor to maintain the land on a regular basis. As a bare minimum, attention should be given to the land in early summer, mid-summer and early autumn.”
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Phone: 02 6540 1100
Fax: 02 6545 2671
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.