.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Compulsive hoarders, whose cluttered yards become a public eyesore, will be offered help before the long arm of the law under a new policy at Casey Council.
Cr Wayne Smith told a council meeting on Tuesday 19 September that Casey needed a new approach, citing the example of unsuccessful action against an “infamous” property in his River Gum Ward.
Casey had made many attempts to force the owner to clean up the house, which was regarded as a magnet for vermin and an eyesore for neighbours.
“It would be clear for a few weeks or a month or so, then it reverts back to its old state.”
Real estate agents would deliberately divert potential buyers in the area from seeing the property, Cr Smith said.
Often behind each hoarder, there was however an underlying mental health issue, he said.
Casey city planning manager Nicola Ward said its new hoarding and squalor protocol would allow the individual to be referred to support agencies for rehabilitation.
She said there were various forms of hoarding, including recycling waste, animals and furniture. Each required a different response.
“This is on the assumption that they’re willing to accept that referral or that help.
“If not, we will need to go into punitive measures.”
According to a council report, Casey had used few referral agencies in the past.
Its response was “punitive and reactive in nature” that included organising the removal of offending items and prosecution in the courts.
“Where action is taken it becomes a costly and resource-intensive effort,” it stated.
It was a “complex issue with no clear, easy or simple response” requiring the intervention of various agencies
Each case could include a mixture of possible heath, hygiene, fire hazards, animal welfare, child protection and building safety issues.
Some of the suggested referral agencies include the Department of Health and Human Services, My Aged Care, RSPCA and the CFA.
A draft policy is expected to be completed in September 2018.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

Town crier Robert Wingrave, pictured with councillor Wayne Smith, was called into action for the City of Casey’s final ...

Casey Council is set to investigate ways to activate the “passive” reserve Ackland Park in Narre Warren North. Councillor Rosalie ...

No one should have to live with this. On first blush, the lush, spacious suburban parkland at the end of ...

How’s this for a sign of the times? A seven-bedroom mansion has broken the $2-million barrier for what is ...

A locally based solar farm could deliver affordable energy to residents and revenue to Casey Council, says councillor Amanda Stapledon. ...

It seems like it takes more than one phone call to get simple repair work from Telstra. Michael Phelps, of ...

Latest Sport

For footballers in their mid-30s facing the end of their careers at senior level and looking for a way ...

Make no mistake about it – Perry Lewis-Smith will never give up on his AFL dream. The 18-year-old athletic beast is ...

Finding a more determined and competitive pair of brothers than Beaconsfield’s Tom and Ben Bramich would be a fruitless ...