Unsightly buildings local law adopted

Townsville City Council has resolved to create a new local law targeting unsightly buildings throughout the city at the Full Council meeting today.

Local Law No. 8 (Unsightly Buildings) 2020 will give Council powers to force building owners to clean up their properties that negatively impact surrounding businesses and the enjoyment of the area.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the creation of this local law would improve the amenity of the city and save ratepayer money on the costs associated with the buildings in question.

“We began the process of creating a new local law to address the dilapidated buildings around the city in 2019, and after a period of community consultation and discussions with various State Government departments, we are in a position to adopt this local law,” Cr Hill said.

“These unsightly buildings are a blight on our community – they detract from neighbouring businesses and buildings and negatively impact our city’s image and there is often a cost associated for Council when managing the issue.

“In the initial stages of implementing the law, the areas designated will include the CBD, such as along Flinders, Sturt and Dean Street. It will also include part of Vincent bound by Fulham Road and Mill Drive.

“This law gives us the ability to force the owners of these buildings to clean them up, remove graffiti and to keep the buildings in a presentable condition, or face penalties for not doing so.”

Under Local Law No. 8, building owners could face the following penalties:

  • For not complying with a graffiti removal notice- a maximum of $6672 (50 penalty units).
  • For not complying with a compliance direction given due to contravention of the local law- a maximum of $6672 (50 penalty units).
  • Failure to give information- a maximum of $6672 (50 penalty units).
  • For not complying with a compliance notice given due to contravening a requirement of the local law- a maximum of $26,690 (200 penalty units).

Council will also have the power to recover the cost of any work where the building owner has not complied with the local law and Council has incurred any loss or expense as a result.

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