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Bondi Hoarders Decision A Load Of Rubbish

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on June 14, 2012 in Other

Photo: Tom Dwyer

I read with interest recently an article on smh.com.au about the filthy hoarders of Bondi who have for years been a stain on what is otherwise a rather beautiful Boonara Avenue.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m harking on about, there is a house in Bondi that passers-by could easily mistake for a rubbish tip. The tenants of what has become known locally as ‘the junk house’, Mary Bobolas and her daughters Elena and Liana Bobolas, are clearly raving lunatics. Mary in particular lost the plot long ago, developing what her daughters have described as a “stress-related psychological condition” that causes her to hoard rubbish.

Their house and its surroundings are an obvious health risk and I can’t imagine the neighbours are particularly comfortable living near it. Not only do rats run rampant having made the dump their home, a fire could go through the multiple layers of litter in seconds, and I can only imagine how many of the aforementioned neighbours are sitting at their dining room tables right now, packet of Redheads in their paws, pondering just how easy might be to take things into their own hands and solve this unsightly problem once and for all.

Over the past several years, Waverley Council has on numerous occasions sought to clean up the unsightly mess at Boonara Avenue, but it hasn’t been easy, nor cheap. And even after council cleaned up the crud-ridden house at its own expense, the litter eventually piled back up again.

After constant calls for the owners keep the property neat and tidy fell on deaf ears, the council took things a step further and in December 2009 the Land and Environment Court ruled that the council’s orders to clear the rubbish were valid and the work was carried out once again.

But the Bobolas daughters were not happy with this decision and had the almost unfathomable gaul to appeal it. What’s even more unbelievable is that last month a three-judge panel found the Land and Environment Court decision should be set aside as the council’s order was “invalid”.

According to the smh.com.au article, the panel found the order “did not convey any requirement for immediate implementation or compliance. Rather, they were expressed in terms of futurity” and as a result, the Bobolas family members “could not be certain as to whether it required present compliance or whether it was some sort of warning notice in anticipation of an order requiring removal of rubbish being issued at a later date”. To make matters worse, the judges even ordered Waverley Council to pay some of the Bobolas’s costs.

What a load of codswallop. The simple fact is the place is a disgusting blight upon Bondi and it needs to be tidied up. And ideally it should be the Bobolas family that fits the bill rather than the ratepayers who already have to put up with the eyesore that this mess creates.

Rupert here has a few words for the Bobolas family: clean up or clear out. If you want to live in a rubbish tip, there’s a bloody big new one out at Eastern Creek!