Minister for Housing Robert Schwarten stands among the filth left behind by a family of grubs.
Minister for Housing Robert Schwarten stands among the filth left behind by a family of grubs.

Dirty grubs trash house

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A FAMILY of grubs has trashed a Rockhampton home, leaving a clean-up bill in the thousands.

A fired-up Member for Rockhampton, Robert Schwarten, yesterday lashed out at the family's "disgusting behaviour'', slamming it an insult to taxpayers who had paid their way.

As he stood among the empty beer bottles, discarded food cans and dirty rags which covered the floor of the 40 Locke Street address, he said if the mother "didn't mend her ways she would end up sleeping under a tree''.

"Being poor does not entitle people to ruin other people's lives nor to spit in the eye of the taxpayer who is subsidising their way,'' the Minister for Housing said, as a putrid smell festered.

"I'd give my right hand to help people who are poor, but there is no excuse (for this).

"I'm revealing this publicly. I get no joy out of seeing wanton destruction and indescribable filth but we are not going anywhere by turning a blind eye or keeping sealed lips about this sort of stuff.''

He said the family, who moved into the house in September, 2001, had been warned to pick up their act early last month after several complaints.

The house was rented by a woman with three young children. It is believed a man was living there also.

They left the home a few days ago by mutual consent with the Department of Housing, which is seeking $4000 from them in damages and to clean the property.

The house was costing them $88 a week. On the open market it would rent for $160.

"It's not too much to ask people to pay a subsidised rent, keep their house clean and not damage it and to be a decent neighbour,'' Mr Schwarten said.

"It is also the case that other public housing tenants in the area were affected and offended by their behaviour and were forced to call police.''

Contractors will come in to clean the house soon. They have a massive job.

Cigarette butts were found in the wardrobes, ants were into everything and rubbish was littered throughout.

Structural damage is limited mainly to broken doors and holes in and stains on the walls.

A new tenant is expected to move in within two weeks. Disgusting as it is, with a twoyear waiting list for public housing in Queensland there will be plenty of takers for the home.

"The reality is 98% of tenants do pay their rent on time, are upstanding neighbours and maintain their houses,'' Mr Schwarten said.



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