Southern River: brothers appeal to public to stop dumping rubbish on vacant block

Trevor and Lawrie Prestage at the block of land their brother owned.

The rubbish dumped on the land.

Rubbish on the verge after the Prestage brothers cleaned it up.
Trevor and Lawrie Prestage at the block of land their brother owned. The rubbish dumped on the land. Rubbish on the verge after the Prestage brothers cleaned it up.

TWO brothers have pleaded with the public to stop dumping rubbish on a block of land in Southern River owned by their late brother.

Lawrie and Trevor Prestage received a letter from the City of Gosnells last month asking them to remove the rubbish, which had been dumped on the property.

The land had belonged to their brother Ralph and his wife Lois before they passed away.

The brothers and their family cleared the rubbish, which Lawrie said mainly consisted of rubbish the council would not take at verge collections.

“There were car bodies, tires, 44 gallon drums, paint in tins and building rubble,” he said.

Lawrie said the land had not been cleared for 15 years and the resulting overgrowth allowed people to dump rubbish.

“When (the land) was cleared, they could be seen throwing their rubbish, but over the last 10, 15 years, they can hide their rubbish in there,” he said.

His brother said it was not fair they were forced to clear rubbish other people were too lazy to dispose of.

“Why should we pay for the whole community to use it as a rubbish area?” Trevor said.

Lawrie said they were considering installing a gate, pending the outcome of an ongoing court battle with the WA Planning Commission (WAPC).

“It’s a decision which rests on the court, because if they’re going to drag this out, we don’t want to be coming down every year because we’ve got a letter from the council saying ‘you’ve got to clean it up again,’” he said.

“So if it looks like it’s going to drag on, we’ll have to look at gates.”

Block at centre of dispute with WAPC

The land in question has been at the centre of a long-running dispute with the WAPC.

Ralph and Lois Prestage initially purchased the land in 1972.

In 2000, the land was designated as a Bush Forever site, which protected the vegetation on the land and hindered development.

After a development application was refused in 2013, the WAPC offered to buy the land for $1.65 million, which the Prestages disputed at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), as they believed the land was worth more.

Following Ralph’s death in 2015 and Lois’ stay in hospital soon after, she withdrew the SAT application and submitted a notice of intention to sell to the WAPC’s Board of Valuers (BOV), who valued the land at $6.235 million.

Last year, the WAPC sought a Supreme Court Judicial Review of their own BOV decision, which was dismissed.

However, the WAPC appealed the decision in August this year.