Evelyn and Ken Clifton’s 10-year fight to clear a block of land containing shrubs, trees and rubbish in their street in Broadford continues.
The couple believe the contents on the block poses fire safety concerns for surrounding homes and Broadford Secondary College.
The land falls within First, White and Gavan streets and sits one block away from Broadford Secondary College.
After the 2009 bushfires, the Cliftons gathered 135 signatures from surrounding properties on Gavan, First and White streets to ask Mitchell Shire Council to clear and clean the area.
Today, low-lying bush shrubs, rubbish and uncleared pathways fill the block, raising fire safety concerns.
“If there’s a fire, there’s people at the end of our street that are senior citizens, and there’s no way out for them – it’s a dead end,” Ms Clifton said.
The Cliftons would like to see the land cleared and cleaned, after unsightly amounts of dry rubbish have gathered in the low-lying shrubs close to Broadford Secondary.
“If there’s a fire on a school day – it would be chaotic,” Ms Clifton said.
“We’d like to see it turned into an oval or at least an accessible park with park benches,” Mr Clifton said.
The couple have contacted numerous politicians over the years for support, with a few responding to their concerns.
“The only one that’s really helped us was Cindy McLeish – when she came and had a look at the block she helped to get the perimeter of the block cleaned. Annie Goble from council also came down to take some photos of the area,” Ms Clifton said.
A spokesperson from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said they were aware of some of the residents’ concerns about fire safety for the block
“Each year we maintain the area with a 20-metre slashed perimeter, which sometimes require slashing multiple times a year,” the spokesperson said.
“The DELWP Broadford depot is located on Mollison Street, only a block away from the site, which ensures a rapid response from firefighters to any fires, should they occur.”
The spokesperson added that the area was planted by the Education Department many years ago and there were currently no plans to clear the land.