By Colin MacGillivray
A KILMORE resident has been left ‘frustrated and disappointed’ at Mitchell Shire Council’s response to what he believes is an illegally operating junk yard next to his house.
Robert Adam, who lives in The Elms estate, said he first complained to council in October last year after an accumulation of junk in his neighbour’s backyard began to grow.
After receiving no response, Mr Adam followed up his initial complaint with further letters, including one directly to councillors.
He said the responses he received were either vague or dismissive.
“One time they put me through to somebody in one of the departments and he said this had been going on for years,” Mr Adam said.
“I’ve lived there for seven years and never had an issue until now, but it also acknowledges that they’ve been aware of it and haven’t done anything about it before.
“They said they had been to the property and put them on an audit to get rid of whitegoods.
“There were a few fridges standing around, but that’s a tiny percentage of what the whole problem was.”
Mr Adam estimated there were more than 20 wrecked cars on his neighbour’s property, as well as hundreds of old car tyres.
He said rubbish dumping on the property had increased since his initial complaint to council.
“They’ve got a forklift in their back yard to move things around,” he said.
“It’s obvious that this is a business that’s being run and I can’t believe the council hasn’t issued an order for them to stop what they’re doing.
“Since last year the junk accumulating has just gone on and on and on.
“And more than that, there’s the noise with trucks reversing and the industrial noise from grinders taking cars apart. Some days it goes on all day long, and it’s just beyond a joke.”
Mr Adam said he was considering a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman or reporting the rubbish dumping to the Environment Protection Authority.
“I spoke to the EPA last year. They said the council really needs to act, and if they don’t act they can become involved,” he said.
“Even from an environmental perspective, the cars they bring in leak oil and are full of petrol.
“What is happening to that? Surely it’s going straight into the ground.
“I’ve also noticed more problems with mice on my property, which might well be because of that.”
In a statement, Mitchell Shire Council chief executive Brett Luxford told the Review council was aware of the problem and was investigating.
“Council’s planning investigation unit is working with the owner of the Kilmore property. This is an ongoing investigation,” he said.
“Due to privacy legislation, we will not be making further comment on this specific matter.
“We take reports like these seriously and we will continue to investigate any made to us by members of the public.”
But Mr Adam said it should not have taken council this long to respond.
“I’m just disappointed that as a ratepayer I’m raising a genuine concern and there is a very poor communication process from the council,” he said.
“I have to initiate everything … there’s no follow-up, nothing else in writing and no explanations of what is taking place. So the frustration grows.
“It’s been eight months and there’s been no improvement. These people are just expanding their business.
“They started with utes and trailers and now it’s trucks. What is the council doing? It’s beyond comprehension.”