HOMEOWNERS with front yards deemed to prejudice the appearance of streetscapes and neighbouring homes will be slapped with $390 fines if new legislation tabled in Parliament yesterday passes.
Under the new laws, council general managers would be given discretion on what properties and front yards were dilapidated and unsightly and order a fix.
The property owner would still need to be consulted before an order was issued and had avenues to appeal the order if they wished.
Local Government Minister Bryan Green said the new laws struck a balance between dealing with suburban eyesores and protecting property owners.
``This means councils will be able to direct building owners to undertake the work necessary to remedy unsightly nuisances,'' he said.
Mr Green said ignoring an order to clean up a junk-filled front yard would incur a $390 fine.
Local Government Association of Tasmania president Barry Easther said it was difficult for a council to order a property owner to clean up under current legislation.
``We've had to prove that it was a risk to public safety or a public health risk, and even if we did that, nothing would get done after we issued abatement notices and it would end up in court,'' he said.
``It was a long, convoluted and costly process and councils got to a stage where they had to question whether it was all really worthwhile.
``This new legislation will allow us to take action and to have the matter rectified quickly and efficiently at a lower cost.''
Other Local Government Act amendments tabled yesterday will require councils:
hp0 To develop 10-year financial management and strategic asset management plans and ensure they are reviewed every four years;
hp0 Report the financial and asset management sustainability indicators in financial statements; and
hp0 Maintain audit panels.