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Russell Northe MP at derelict Churchill service station

Eyesore cleanup demand

Eyesore cleanup demand

Russell Northe MP at derelict Churchill service station

Northe: resolution must be found for derelict buildings

Local councils need greater powers to compel the owners of derelict buildings to clean them up or remove them, according to the Member for Morwell, Russell Northe.

He said his office has been contacted by community groups that are unhappy that rundown or abandoned buildings are allowed to remain standing.

Mr Northe said he is throwing his support behind local communities in this matter, after being contacted by local residents across several communities including the Traralgon Community Development Association (TDCA).

"The TCDA and indeed other community organisations have identified properties within their townships that should either be demolished or cleaned up appropriately," Mr Northe said, "but it appears adequate enforcement is not being applied in many instances".

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Mr Northe said he has continually highlighted the old United Service Station in Churchill as a classic case of an eyesore building being left to rot, despite the community seeking its demolition for many years.

“People have great pride in their towns, but the ongoing neglect of derelict buildings does nothing to enhance the image of our towns or our region,” Mr Northe said.

“When you drive into any town you shouldn’t have to observe some of the disgusting eyesores that currently exist in some of our local townships,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said that he had previously written to the Minister for Local Government on these same matters and subsequently sought a resolution to the perceived lack of powers that exist for relevant authorities to apply in such cases.

“The Minister in response noted that The Local Government Act 1989 enables Councils to make local laws on matters for which they have functions and powers, and which can address local circumstances” added Mr Northe.

“Whilst I understand that in some cases Council has applied a differential rate to the owners of properties with unsightly buildings, it’s obvious this course of action is not working,” said Mr Northe.

Mr Northe and local community groups are asking the State Government and Latrobe City Council to come up with an effective course of action that not only holds property owners to account but sees some of the eyesore buildings in our community finally cleaned up.

"If we truly want locals and visitors to be proud of the region in which we live, then taking real action on the owners of derelict properties is a good start."

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