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Overgrown Land

The sub-tropical location of Tweed Shire, with its high annual rainfall and warm conditions, encourages rapid growth of vegetation. During the spring and summer seasons, requests from customers in relation to overgrown properties generally increases. Council encourages land owners to implement an ongoing maintenance program, especially in the spring and summer months, to ensure the land or premises is kept in a safe and healthy condition.

Council will only take action in relation to overgrown properties if the land is considered to be not in a safe or healthy condition.

What constitutes an overgrown property?

An overgrown property may be residential or commercial land, with or without a dwelling, which is deemed to be in an unsafe and unhealthy condition. A property which is ‘untidy’ may not necessarily be considered a ‘health or safety’ risk. Factors likely to contribute to a property being considered ‘not safe and healthy’ include:

  • Is harbouring vermin (evidence can include sightings, faeces, nests, runs, eggs etc.);
  • Is likely to harbour vermin (vegetation would be consistently thick, at least 600mm high and covering a sufficient area to provide potential harbourage for vermin. Please note that an uncleared or regenerated bush block comprising of mainly indigenous vegetation would not necessarily be considered a harbourage for vermin).
  • The excessive vegetation is a potential fire risk.

Overgrown vegetation does not include native vegetation that is protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, or Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Vermin
does not include native fauna.

What do I do if I have a concern?

If you have been unable to discuss the problem with the property owner and the property is located in a built-up urban area, village area, industrial or business area, please contact Council on (02)6670-2400 or email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au with the relevant details.

Your name, address and phone number will be required together with the location of the overgrown property.

Council does not respond to customer requests in relation to overgrown vegetation in rural or rural residential areas.

Council does not respond to customer requests in relation to the potential fire risk of overgrown vegetation. These requests should be directed to NSW Rural Bushfire Service on (02) 6672 7888 (see RFS webpage http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/)

What action does Council take?

Council staff will initially inspect the property, and discuss the problem with property owner. If over a reasonable period of time the property has not been returned to a ‘safe and healthy’ state, Council may take more formal action, including the issue of Notices or Orders, to have the excessive vegetation cleared.

Please note that taking regulatory action is a last resort for Council, and residents are encouraged to resolve the issue in a neighbourly manner by discussing the problem with the property owner. Property owners may be unaware that neglecting their property is causing a problem, and might be quite willing to address the problem once it’s been drawn to their attention.

What happens if I receive a Notice or Order?

If you receive a Notice or Order, you will be required to carry out all work within the time specified in the Notice or Order. Please contact Council's Regulatory Services Unit and advise them on your proposed course of action.

For further information, please contact Tweed Shire Council on (02) 6670 2400.
Last Updated: 17 January 2014