Building owners warned to clean up their act

Date published: 22 October 2019

Townsville City Council is looking at implementing a new local law forcing building owners to clean up their dirty and dilapidated buildings.

Council endorsed moving forward with making the new Local Law at the Full Council meeting today.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the Local Law would give Council the power to force the clean-up of unsightly buildings detracting from the city’s image.

“Council has been working with building owners for quite some time on this issue and it’s disappointing that we haven’t seen the improvements we wanted,” Cr Hill said.

“This new Local Law gives us the power to clean up derelict buildings and remove graffiti that is negatively impacting on the city’s image and detracting from other buildings in the area.

“Currently, we don’t have the power to go in and get these buildings cleaned up, but it’s time building owners are held accountable and their properties are maintained at a reasonable standard.”

The maximum fine that could be imposed on building owners under the proposed Local Law would be $26,000 and it would also give Council the ability to ask the courts to order a clean-up of derelict properties.

Cr Hill said the laws could take up to six months to implement which would give building owners time to fix their buildings before they come into action.

“There is a process we have to follow when creating a new local law and the next step is to seek approval from the State Government and go to public consultation – this may take at least 6 months.

“I would urge owners of the derelict buildings around the city to get their act together now and use this time to do the right thing by the community rather than wait until they are forced to do so.

“What we want is a city that can attract investment and jobs without being scared off by dilapidated and run-down buildings.”