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

Casey’s crime rate has fallen for the first time in five years, according to official statistics. The state&...

 Surrounded by four generations of family, a Berwick man celebrated a lofty milestone in the Dandenong Ranges. Colin Ferguson ...

Residents in Hugo Court, Narre Warren will continue to spark up their spectacular Christmas lights despite being shut down by ...

Berwick Carols Edwin Flack Reserve, Manuka Road, Berwick, on Saturday 16 December at 7.30pm-9.30pm. Casey Choir Sings Christmas You will ...

Student basketballers are playing it sun-safe under a spectacular outdoors roof at Strathaird Primary School. The gracefully-curved structure towering over ...

Students at Hampton Park Secondary College have created some special homes for kids to park their imaginations. The senior VCAL ...

Latest Sport

Berwick Little Athletics’ stars of today have the world at their feet and gave a glimpse recently into just what ...

Berwick Little Athletics’ stars of today have the world at their feet and gave a glimpse recently into just what ...

Winning builds confidence, and for Casey-South Melbourne that confidence is beginning to once again re-emerge just before the red ball ...