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Rubbish fines mess

Wyndham residents and landowners who have let grass grow too long or left rubbish to pile up on their properties have been fined more than 470 times over the past 12 months.

Over the 2009-2010 period, Wyndham City Council has issued 471 infringements under its local laws on unsightly land and land clearance.

Wyndham CEO Kerry Thompson said 374 infringements have been issued for properties with long grass, with more than 30 going to court.

Under council legislation, the owner of vacant land in a residential, business or industrial zone must keep grass less than 150 millimetres high.

Another 86 infringements the council issued went to properties for having rubbish problems, two infringements were for land being a fire hazard, four for unsightly land and nine for weeds or health issues.

“Wyndham City issues infringements for unmaintained vacant land and unsightly land in the interests of maintaining the general amenity of the city, reducing the spread of vermin and minimising potential fire danger,” Ms Thompson said.

The council has raised $94,200 in revenue from the infringements, with each offence resulting in a $200 fine.

“Of the 471 infringements issued, 41 proceeded to court,” Ms Thompson said.

“The court fines will then depend on the magistrate, but as a general rule for the first offence the original on-the-spot fine is reimposed, therefore the 41 at Court will be approximately $8200 in addition to the $94,200.”

However, Wyndham resident Lori Mclean said she believed the council needed to do more to ensure the area was kept in tip-top condition.

“Firstly they need to get out into the areas and take a good look at what is going on. The footpaths and some front yards in Wyndham Green are a disgrace,” she said.

Ms McLean said at Castlerock Drive in Wyndham Vale, people have been using a “vacant allotment as the tip”.

She said many residents were also concerned about the amount of graffiti at Werribee Railway Station and the overpass. “We were once awarded in 1990 as a Tidy Town. However I can never see that happening again,” Ms McLean said.

By Alesha Capone

Source: Star, Werribee, Point Cook, Hoppers Crossing

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