Dave Lewis is not happy with the state of the next door yard.
Dave Lewis is not happy with the state of the next door yard. Allan Reinikka ROK040517ayard3

'Neighbour's snake pit killed my animal': Man's heartbreak

HE calls it "the jungle next door".

In reality, number 30 Buckle St is an abandoned eye-sore harbouring snakes, mice and other pests.

Rusted cars sink into the front lawn behind mangled wire gates, while vintage collectables are just visible through the flaking timber of the decrepit Queenslander.

David Lewis has endured living in the adjacent property for about 18 months, but a heartbreaking snake attack on his cat has become the final straw.

"We only found the snake because she (the cat) was playing with it like a toy underneath the dining room table inside," David recalled of the incident, nearly one month ago to the day.

"As soon as I saw that, poor cat, I grabbed her by the tail and yanked her away, and at that point she got bitten.

"We raced her to the vet and there was nothing they could do.

"Within the 15 minutes it took to get her there, so she had to be euthanised, and she's a family member, she's a family pet and we were very fond of her and it was very upsetting."

David said he and his mother, who also lives at the address, are both pensioners who found the additional strain of vet bills hard to bear.

He now fears for his own safety stepping out the back door, and has stopped his young nieces and nephews from playing outside.

To put it bluntly, David says "it's dangerous, and not a nice way to live".

"Nobody lives there, hasn't lived there for a long time and its just not being maintained," he said.

"The growth there is so dense that a good half of his backyard you would not be able to enter for the trees and growth and long grass and all sorts of things.


About seven abandoned cars scatter the lawn around and under this Buckle Street house.
About seven abandoned cars scatter the lawn around and under this Buckle Street house. Allan Reinikka ROK040517ayard4

He said besides "the fact that it's ugly", rodents and snakes had also slithered into his home from next door.

"We have witnessed birds swooping into the yard and picking up snakes and carrying them away, so that kind of habitat is perfect for dangerous creatures like that to breed," he said.

David said he simply wants the yard cleaned up and maintained, though doubts it could ever be restored to its former glory.

"It would have been a lovely house when it was built," he said.

"But now it looks exactly as what it is; it's abandoned, nobody loves it, nobody cares.

"Certainly someone who was fond of cars lived there at some point and has left some of his collection behind, but as I say we just call it the jungle."

Solicitor and acting attorney for the owner of the property, Michael Stockall, said he employs a man on a fortnightly basis to "look after the property".

"My man instructs me and informs me there is nothing wrong with the property and any particular thing that causes a problem is attributable to the property next door," he said.

Mr Stockall claims the Rockhampton Regional Council have not issued a notice in respect to the property "for a couple of years" on the grounds a gardener is employed to manage the site.

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