Fined $9k for hoarding 115 cars
A BORONIA Heights man has been slapped with a whopping $9000 fine for keeping more than 115 cars in his 4000 sqm garden.
Former housing and public works officer Dan Weston, 38, was found guilty of using his semirural block for car repairs and storing parts in two sheds and two shipping containers.
An old caravan is parked in the front garden, two disused trucks are on the footpath and the back yard is crammed with rusting bike parts, a stack of old car doors, heaps of car and truck tyres, motorbikes, two caravans, screen doors and even an old rocking horse.
The land backs on to the freight train line which the Australian Rail Track Corporation proposes to use as part of the Inland Rail network.
Beenleigh Magistrates Court also ordered Mr Weston, who is unemployed, to get rid of all the cars, clean up his garden, and remove the two shipping containers.
A conviction was recorded and Mr Weston was ordered to stop using the property for a car repair garage until he got the correct permit and pay costs of $2963.18
The September ruling followed a two-year campaign by Logan City Council to tidy up the property, which had stirred animosity in the otherwise well-kept street.
This week, Logan administrator Tamara O'Shea said the court result would stop residential properties from being used as businesses and would improve the amenity for neighbours.
She said the significant penalties were an important reminder to those breaking the law.
"This is a good outcome, not just for council but for the residents … and I know prosecutions are not an easy process."
Neighbours Sid and Carol Fray, who have lived in the street for two years, said lights in the sheds were left on all night and they believed rats from the property ran across their yard.
"It's a real mess and it can't be good for property values - so we are really happy the council has had a victory," Mr Fray said.
Mr Weston said he felt it was unfair he was being penalised for keeping cars in his two backyard sheds.
"I recently got planning permission from the council to put the sheds on the property and on the application I stated they would be used to store my cars," he said.
"I don't even know how many cars I had but after my brother committed suicide I bought his cars here to restore.
"I understand the garden is a mess, but I have been getting rid of lots of rubbish and have moved out all the cars.
"Twelve of the cars had vintage registrations - I just love my cars - that's not a crime."
The council also had the right to take further action and swoop on any cars or auto parts left in the yard if Mr Weston failed to follow the court order.
Mr Weston said he was considering an appeal.