Does next door’s rooster, crowing at dawn, stick in your craw? You are not alone. Crowing roosters generated 14 formal noise complaints across the shire last year.
The Eurobodalla Shire Council’s rangers and public and environmental health unit received more than 11,000 neighbour-dispute inquiries last year. Of those, about 20 per cent generate formal requests.
Animals, dogs in particular, were far and away the largest cause of neighbourhood angst in the Eurobodalla. In 2016-17, there were more than 400 complaints about straying dogs, and nearly 250 complaints about barking dogs.
By comparison, farm animals, like roaming cows, accounted for only 47 complaints.
Roaming people were also a cause for concern, with 60 complaints about illegal camping.
It appears shire residents want their environment unspoilt with many complaints related to illegal dumping (79), abandoned vehicles (72), overgrown vacant land (49) or premises (28). Nor do they want trees vandalised (34) or removed (15).
Council’s acting director planning and sustainability Deb Lenson said neighbourhood complaints showed a steady but not-significant increase over the past five years.
“We believe this indicates that residents have a growing awareness of their rights and responsibilities, but we’re not seeing any obvious trends emerge,” Ms Lenson said.
“Ideally, we like people to try and talk to their neighbours about any issues and we encourage that as our first approach.”
Residents can use existing resources to inform dispute resolution. The NSW State Library specialist legal team has produced a new edition of Neighbours & the Law, which provides information on rights and responsibilities between neighbours.
Author, Nadine Behan, has worked as a barrister and as a lawyer in a community legal centre. She wrote the book to provide plain English information on commonly asked about neighbourhood issues.
The new edition has been revised and updated for recent changes to the law and is available free of charge to public libraries and online at: www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au
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