Asbestos is a type of building material used in the building industry between the 1940s and late 1980s. Before the health risks were known, asbestos products were widely used because they were durable, fire resistant and had good insulation properties. It is difficult to identify asbestos by sight, but as a rule, if your house was built:
- Before the mid-1980s it is more than likely to contain asbestos materials
- Between the mid-1980s and 1990, it is likely to contain asbestos materials
- After the 1990s it is highly unlikely to contain asbestos materials.
Generally, issues relating to asbestos occur primarily during building works involving home and business renovations. Only a licenced contractor should remove or break materials that could possibly contain asbestos fibres unless you are removing less than 10m2.
If you believe a homeowner, occupant or owner-builder is unsafely handling, removing or transporting asbestos material or a person has illegally dumped asbestos waste, please contact both Council on (07) 4761 5300 and Work Safe Queensland on 13 QGOV (13 7468).
Council's Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011 regulates lighting and maintaining fires in the open. Under the Local Law, it is offence to light a fire where it:
- Can reach a height, width or length of more than 2 metres
- It is not enclosed in a fireplace which prevents the escape of fire or any burning material from the enclosure
- It is for the purpose of burning the carcass of a beast
- It is at a sawmill for the purpose of burning sawdust or other residue or resulting from the operation of a sawmill
Failure to comply with the Local Law can result in a Penalty Infringement Notice (fine) from Council.
In addition to the Local Law, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services prescribed Fire Bans and Restrictions which must be adhered to. Up to date information is available at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.
Mosquito Control/Dengue Fever
In the past, Dengue Fever outbreaks have occurred across the Charters Towers Region. Dengue Fever is a viral illness spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito (dengue mosquito). To assist in understanding how to prevent the spread of Dengue Fever, Council has prepared this Fact Sheet.
Overgrown and Unsightly Allotments
Council's Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011 prescribes that it is an offence for an allotment to be overgrown or host objects and materials which seriously affect the visual amenity of the allotment or are likely to attract or harbour reptiles.
Landholders are responsible for keeping their allotments in a neat, clean and tidy condition that is consistent with the Local Law. This will prevent nuisances from vegetation overgrowth and/or visual pollution resulting from unsightly accumulation of objects and materials. Failure to act on these matters can result in a Compliance Notice issued by Council and in some cases, contractors undertaking clean up works at the cost of the landowner.
Overhanging Branches in Queensland are regulated by the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 and are not managed by Council. Overhanding branches are a common cause of disagreement between neighbours. Disputes can be about:
- Branches overhanging your fence
- Branches or fruit dropping into your yard
- Roots causing damage to your property
- Branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception
There are several things you can do if your neighbour’s tree is affecting you in this way; however, if possible, you should always talk about a solution with your neighbour as a first step. It is always best to keep on good terms with your neighbour and resolve any potential tree issues between you before they get out of hand.
The Queensland Government's website provides a number of resources on overhanging branches and interacting with your neighbour. It is recommended that you peruse this website to best assist you with your dividing fence.