Tracey Rutledge is concerned about the safety of her children, including Rahni and Lachlan, because rats and snakes keep venturing into her garden from this overgrown lot.
Tracey Rutledge is concerned about the safety of her children, including Rahni and Lachlan, because rats and snakes keep venturing into her garden from this overgrown lot. Peter Holt

Overgrown land 'is snake haven'

SNAKES and rats have been invading Tracey Rutledge's garden for years - and the mother of three has no doubt where they're coming from.

Ms Rutledge, who lives at Border St, says an overgrown development site bordering her street and Bradman Dr is housing a range of snakes and vermin.

She's seen three snakes in her garden during the last three weeks and is concerned about the safety of her three children, aged 4, and 2 and 16 months.

"It's just frightening," Ms Rutledge said.

"It doesn't matter what kind of snake it is, it's still a danger (to children and pets)."

Ms Rutledge said she'd contacted Mackay Regional Council and the development site's owner's representative to ask for the land to be mowed.

While the owner's representative had organised for a 10m border around the site to be mowed, the rest of the land remained overgrown, she said.

A neighbour told her the mower killed six snakes when it last cut the 10m border around the development site, she said.

"It's a big area - it's probably a good 20 or 40 blocks.

"I'm not directly on it but yet I'm still affected.

"The lady next door is equally concerned.

"She's got two young kids and is expecting another."

Mackay Regional Council has the power to make standard residential land owners mow their grass.

However, owners of larger blocks of land like this only need to have a 10m buffer around them mowed.

Council's health and regulatory services manager Neil Ischenko said it was often difficult to mow rough terrain on large lots.

"We ask them to maintain a 10 metre firebreak," he said.

Mr Ischenko said the council could issue notices asking normal residential property owners to clean up their properties.

If owners fail to heed the notices and mow their land, the council can arrange for the properties to be cleaned at their expense.


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