A PORT COOGEE landowner says he feels singled out over sand blowing off his property when plenty of other lots seem immune from council scrutiny.
Rudolph Misic bought his investment property on Bombay Heights just before the GFC hit in 2008 and, because of the dramatic slump in property prices, put his development on ice.
He built a retaining wall at the front to hold in sand, leaving just enough room for a driveway, but received a letter from Cockburn council earlier this year telling him it wasn’t up to scratch.
The council offered to have a contractor spray the block with dust suppression, but then went ahead without his approval.
Mr Misic didn’t grizzle too much about the stuff-up and paid the bill, but is arcing up because the council’s come back telling him the job has to be re-done because of complaints.
“It can’t have been a very good job—it usually lasts a year to 18 months,” Mr Misic says. He reckons the spray-on suppressant was thinly applied and entire patches were missed.
Adding to his grievance, much of the sand spilling out onto the road seems to be stirred up by tradies driving on the Sahara-like verge, which is council-owned. He reckons the council should wear some of the cost.
Mr Misic wasn’t alone in buying land at the wrong time, with the GFC causing many owners to mothball projects.
While a recent recovery in property prices has seen renewed activity at Port Coogee, there’s still plenty of vacant blocks peppering the area, quite a few untreated and with sand flowing onto verges.
“My question is how come some got treated and others didn’t—why am I being singled out?” Mr Misic wonders.
Cockburn council environmental health manager Nick Jones says the suppressant program involves 113 landowners and “Mr Misic is the only person who has objected”.
“The hydro mulch was applied to numerous blocks by an experienced contractor,” he says, adding Mr Misic was given a “detailed explanation of the program”.
As for contributing to costs, that seems unlikely. “The city is dealing with sand from the verge.”
by STEVE GRANT