NESTLED between luxury homes and just a stone’s throw away from the water is what locals have described as a major health hazard.
The coastal town of Southport is the uber-fashionable central business district of the Gold Coast.
But, according to Gold Coast councillor Brooke Patterson, it is also home to serious “criminal behaviour”.
She told 7News that squatters in Norman Street “have been very aggressive with our local law officers, with residents, and with the tradies trying to get to clean up the place.”
The house in question is covered by a high fence and appears like many others in the neighbourhood – from afar.
A closer look through a wide gap in a broken gate reveals a thick layer of rubbish covering the front yard, comprised of trollies, clothes, a mattress, bags, and other waste.
One neighbour, who alleged used syringes had been thrown from the property onto her first-floor balcony, said: “I’m going to hate to think of the smell in summer.”
She alleged the “unbearable” situation had been “going on [for] over a year”.
Councillor Patterson called on local police to address the problem, saying: “It’s really disappointing and frustrating. Council stands with residents [wanting] to deal with this issue.
“We have submitted a compliance notice to the owners. But when they got their builders onsite to clean this up, the squatters stole their tools.
“So this is a criminal matter. This is a police matter.
“I’ve written to the police minister requesting urgent attention because this cannot be done without police intervention.”
Squatting is not illegal in Queensland, but it is