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Valley property owners on notice

The Waltons building, on Wickham Street in the Valley, is looking tired.

The Waltons building, on Wickham Street in the Valley, is looking tired. Photo: Tony Moore

New local laws passed by council last night are set to stamp out Fortitude Valley's grungy image once and for all, with building owners now facing serious consequences should their property fall into disrepair.

In introducing the amendment to the local law, which was approved by the Local Government Minister David Crisafulli in August this year, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk warned “recalcitrant” building owners would soon pay the price for their shabby properties.

The state government's approval came ahead of schedule.

The area in Fortitude Valley where new laws give council the power to force owners to clean up buildings.

The area in Fortitude Valley where new laws give council the power to force owners to clean up buildings.

Raising the example of the Walton's building, which was at the centre of a neighbourhood skirmish over cleanliness earlier this year, Cr Quirk expressed satisfaction at now having the “teeth” to bite down on offenders.

“There have been issues with the Valley in the past, well recorded issues,” Cr Quirk said.

“This will give us the additional teeth we need to make the Valley the best it can be.”

Opposition leader Milton Dick endorsed the amendment on behalf of his Labor colleagues.

“All of us are in agreement that we need to do all we can to improve health and safety,” Cr Dick said.

“[Especially in] one of the most important areas in the city which is, of course, the Valley.”

The laws stand as amendments to the Health Safety and Amenity Amending Local Law and the Health Safety and Amenity Subordinate Local Law 2012.

It places a duty on owners of buildings in designated areas to maintain the appearances of the buildings to a standard which does not detract from the appearance of other buildings in an area of Fortitude Valley as outlined by council.

According to the law, a building owner may be considered in breach of their duty if their property is found to be in a dirty condition, in a state of disrepair, in need of repainting or otherwise in a dilapidated condition.

In such cases, council may serve a show-cause notice to the building owner, asking for an explanation as to why they haven't complied with the law to be issued within 10 days.

The council is obliged to consider any submissions made by the owner, and advise the owner if further action will be taken.

Such action could include council undertaking the maintenance work required, and seeking compensation from the owner subsequent to completion in relation to the upgrades carried out and the costs associated with the law enforcement.

The law will also apply to council owned buildings.

43 comments

  • My favourite part of Brisbane. The last part that hasn't been gentrified. What a shame. Let me guess - a mix of expensive dull residential and three dozen cafes. I prefer it as it is. The people who live there are cool. Real. God forbid should anyone be exposed to anything that isn't shiny.

    Commenter
    PeterH
    Location
    Burleigh
    Date and time
    November 21, 2012, 6:41AM
    • We don't need Waltons to be shiny. Just cleaned up and presentable. It's disgusting the way it is - and most of it empty and run down.

      And why? Because the owner wants to remove the heritage listing, demolish it, and build something new, faceless and shiny - exactly what you don't want.

      Commenter
      Marty
      Location
      Sherwood
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 7:59AM
    • I love the valley but buildings like waltons are a disgrace.

      Commenter
      O
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 8:11AM
    • Waltons is a health risk. I know a shop owner just down from it and they have had a cockroach and rat infestation since they purchased. To this day not one extermination company has been able to help them, so when you are thinking about how cool it is next time you shuffle past to your hipster bar perhaps spare a thought for them.

      Commenter
      Joe
      Location
      New Farm
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 10:28AM
    • I saw a rat the other day in New Farm Park, it definitely had that distinctive Walton's look....

      Commenter
      Prole
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 2:23PM
  • Hmmm. How long will it be until they wield this clunky by-law to punish a person who can't afford to paint their house in the suburbs? Sounds like a law that could be used to force people to sell property to me.

    Commenter
    Tony Toenail
    Location
    Annerley
    Date and time
    November 21, 2012, 7:05AM
    • "punish a person who can't afford to paint their house in the suburbs" Most older houses that need painting are worth $400-$900k in Brisbane. I'm not quite sure who would sit on such wealth and not be able to afford to paint their house? I think if you can't afford to maintain your home (and have respect for your neighbours!) that you should probably thinking about selling the house and buying something easier to maintain.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 10:16AM
    • If you cant afford to paint it, you cant afford to own/keep it!

      Commenter
      RCheck
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 1:03PM
    • People on fixed incomes might find it difficult to find the thousands of dollars required to pay someone to repaint a house.

      I'm talking about the elderly on pensions if you think to reply with "but if they're unemployed they shouldn't own houses".

      This is just a bad law which might end up being thrown out at the cost of the rate payers. I wouldn't be happy with a local council who wants to waste my money on stupid laws.

      Commenter
      Dean
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 1:29PM
    • Dean: "People on fixed incomes might find it difficult to find the thousands of dollars required to pay someone to repaint a house." Wouldn't the better solution be that people in such a situation move to a lower maintenance dwelling? It's the same as owning a luxury car and not being able to afford the servicing. "I'm talking about the elderly on pensions" The rate of the aged pension is currently $25k a year in cash for a couple. I'm sure they can spare $3k for painting if they budget properly.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 8:23PM

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