Clean up ordered for ‘shocking’ mess

A number of trees have fallen, proving a fire risk. 202215_03

By Mitchell Clarke

A landlord has ordered his tenants to clean up their act, as a pile of tree branches and unkempt grass continues to grow at a Pakenham petrol station complex.

The complex at the corner of Princes Highway and Windermere Boulevard has become a “significant fire hazard” according to some motorists and residents alike.

Tina Sharp has held concerns about the property for years now, and said a number of trees had fallen and the grass had grown “as high as the residential fences” backing on the property.

“It is so bad and especially with the upcoming fire season, it’s a real fire hazard, it’s shocking,” Ms Sharp said.

“It’s become a garbage dump and it makes the whole area look shocking, it’s really not a great look.”

Ms Sharp claims the area has become a haven for feral animals, and has reportedly seen people dumping pregnant cats at the site.

“The animals are so scared so it’s difficult to catch them, they just run away into the scrub if you go near them,” she said.

“The people responsible need to be diligent in cleaning up that area and making sure the grass is cut and clean at the least.”

It’s understood a number of neighbouring residents were fed up with having grass at their fence level, but Ms Sharp claims they’re “too scared” to speak publicly, for fear of retribution.

“There have been numerous complaints made to the council to have something done, even if they are to make the petrol station owners responsible or at least fine them.

“Nothing has been done about this situation,” she said.

When questioned, Cardinia Shire Council’s community strengthening manager Stephen Sparrow said the land at 1365 Princes Highway was private property.

“As part of council’s annual Fire Hazard Inspection program, this property was inspected and the property owner was advised of their obligations under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 to clear the property of rubbish and cut the grass in the lead up to the summer period,” Ms Sparrow said.

Council’s fire hazard inspections commenced from 18 November and the property owners were reportedly issued a fire prevention notice which provides details regarding any works required and a completion date.

“Following this, the land will be re-inspected to see if the fire hazards identified in the notice have been addressed,” Mr Sparrow said.

But the mess remains, and Cardinia Shire Council was unable to comment further regarding specific properties.

The landlord of the property, who wants to remain anonymous, said the site had been leased out since April and he was unaware of the mess.

It’s understood the tenants have since been contacted by the landlord to urgently clean up the mess.

The tenants were contacted for comment. 

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