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Fairy grass build-up a hazard for small business owner

Echuca business owner Chris Feldbauer is concerned the build-up of fairy grass outside his business is a hazard and causing him to lose business.

TRENT HORNEMAN December 6, 2012 4:54am

Pro Sanding managing director Chris Feldbauer with the fairy grass at his Echuca business.


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Echuca business owner Chris Feldbauer is looking for answers after fairy grass inundated his yard last week.

Mr Feldbauer said fairy grass from adjacent vacant paddocks had swamped his business, making it hard for customers to enter his business and his staff to work in his workshop.

Mr Feldbauer said he had to employ someone to help remove the large amounts of fairy grass from his yard.

‘‘It only takes one spark to set this stuff alight, I have a business which has a large amount of chemicals stored, it is a real hazard,’’ he said.

‘‘I am a small business owner. If I spend my time or make one of my staff spend time cleaning it up, then I am losing money.’’

Campaspe Shire service executive manager Paul McKenzie said while rural land was allowed to have long grass as part of farm businesses, industrial and residential land had rules in place about grass length.

‘‘Council-owned land within industrial estates in Tongala, Rochester and Echuca have been slashed,’’ he said.

‘‘Generally this occurs in the first week of December, however due to this year’s unusual weather conditions this was arranged earlier.

‘‘One vacant block in Reliance Court, (in the) Echuca industrial estate, has not been slashed to date due to fencing and a locked gate restricting access. Slashing of this block is now being co-ordinated.

‘‘In addition, council is required to maintain a 15m fire-break on the western boundary of the Echuca industrial estate.

‘‘This fire-break backs onto Free Trader Court and will be slashed shortly.

‘‘You will appreciate that slashing contractors are particularly busy at this time of year, and all works are listed and then programmed as received.’’

Mr McKenzie said residential landholders had an obligation to keep their property well maintained, with grass kept below 150mm all year round.

‘‘Particular attention should be made to vacant land in urban areas,’’ he said.

‘‘Grass adjacent to fences and building and within three metres of a property boundary should also be cut.

‘‘Under Campaspe Shire’s Local Law, a notice to clean-up can be issued,’’ he said.

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