MAYFIELD residents are urging the Launceston City Council to clean up and secure their abandoned shopping centre before the hazard causes injury.
But the council says it is powerless to force the owner to fix the problem until new laws concerning dilapidated buildings are brought in.
The centre once housed a takeaway shop and supermarket, which closed 15 months ago.
Mayfield resident Gary Cadman said the centre had suffered serious neglect since.
Glass was strewn all over the footpath and car park and fires had been started inside the building, he said.
Mr Cadman said the building was often used as a squat and play area for local youth.
``It is unacceptable,'' Mr Cadman said.
``There is a primary school less than 100 metres away and it has to be cleaned up and secured immediately before any children hurt themselves.''
Rocherlea Football Club community development officer David Brimble said the site was at the heart of Mayfield and was going to waste without commercial or social activity.
He said he would soon circulate a petition in the community calling for immediate action from the council.
``Witnessing the damage must have a demoralising effect on the community,'' Mr Brimble said.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the owner had been encouraged to secure the site.
``We have been involved with this particular property on numerous occasions.'' he said.