Neglected land sparks warnings

LANDHOLDERS are disregarding warnings of both a horror fire season and bumper snake season by allowing allotments to become dishevelled and overgrown.

A large number of snake sightings have been recorded across the Rose City of late, following last year's wet Christmas period.

On top of that, soaring temperatures are already being felt ahead of the start of summer next month, tipping a shocking bushfire season ahead.

A quick tour around the town has revealed there are a number of residential areas with dangerously overgrown lots, increasing the risk of fires and snake bites. Of particular concern is the unsightly long grass that is bordering the manicured grounds of East State School.

Although the mess is not on school grounds, a small fence is all that separates the thick jungle and the students' play area.

Department of Education and Training regional director Greg Dickman said maintaining privately owned or council land outside school grounds is not the responsibility of the department or state schools.

He said the job was the responsibility of the landowner but the school principal would monitor the situation and "take action if he believes student or staff safety is being jeopardised".

"However, when required, schools and the department can contact private landowners and/or local authorities to ensure the maintenance of land surrounding school grounds is kept at an appropriate and safe standard," Mr Dickman said.

"Student safety is always the number one priority at Warwick East State School, so the school has on several occasions taken the opportunity to promote student and staff awareness and education when it comes to staying safe around snakes."

An allotment behind Sovereign Downs at the corner of Homestead Rd and Gibson Rd is also causing concern.

The area often begins to come alive at this time of year, as residents deck their houses out with Christmas lights. There are fears a stray cigarette from a passing car of visitors could see the area go up in flames.

Southern Downs Regional Council was asked to comment on the issue but didn't do so by the time of print.

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