Shanty hut built near creek bed to be removed

Council has investigated complaints from residents regarding an illegal structure which has been erected near the creek reserve at Dixon Field in Gisborne.

The structure or shanty hut has been erected illegally on Council-owned land in breach of Local Law No. 10 and the Environment Protection Act. Consequently the area will be cordoned off and the hut will be removed.

Council’s Local Laws officers visited the site and found there had been a significant amount of damage to the bushland around this shanty hut. There was damage to vegetation and trees had been cut down near the hut, presumably in order to build it.

There was also a large amount of litter on the site, including empty alcohol cans and used condoms. In addition, a fire pit had been built close to fuel loads. Steps have been cut into the bank of the creek which, along with tree removal, contributes to the risk of erosion of the creek bed. Melbourne Water, which manages the waterway, has been notified.

Chief Executive Officer, Margot Stork said Council had a responsibility to ensure the area was safe and the environment was preserved.

“No-one has the right to build anything on land which is owned by anyone else without permission, and that includes Council-owned land,” Ms Stork said.

“While we understand some people might wish the hut to be retained, it is not a safe structure and it is not appropriate for this location.

“We are all for kids exploring and being adventurous in our beautiful shire but with that comes learning about being respectful to the natural environment and to others, such as seeking permission when it is not your land or property.

“Council works with local groups and young people every year on joint projects and builds many structures in the community, for the community. For instance, we have a range of wonderful playgrounds in the shire, including the Gisborne Adventure Playground which is only a short walk from this site.

“We’re always happy to have a conversation with people about these sorts of projects, but this must happen before any works begin and especially before any trees or vegetation are disturbed.”

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