Owen Tregoning was ordered to clean up his property after a court battle with the council.
Owen Tregoning was ordered to clean up his property after a court battle with the council. Renee Albrecht

Stench and squalor: Imbil family told to clean up act

AN IMBIL family, who turned their rural property into a derelict mini village of caravans, makeshift shacks and foul-smelling mess, have been ordered to clean up their act.

This is after neighbours complained their "quiet rural lifestyle" was being ruined by loud parties, the constant running of a diesel generator, barking dogs and the stench of soiled toilet paper strewn across the property next door.

Gympie Regional Council took Owen Roy Tregoning to the Planning and Environment Court after he failed to heed warnings about illegal use of the land which had not been approved for residential dwelling.

Documents before the court state that when a council inspector went to the property, they saw a bus, caravan and mini bus along with a shipping container and a corrugated iron structure which housed a "toilet" (bucket and toilet seat) and shower.

There were also canvases which covered makeshift living and kitchen areas, and animals on the property including dogs and five horses.

The inspector noted an "unpleasant odour" and claimed Mr Tregoning pointed to an area on the ground and said that was where he went to the toilet.

During the trial, Mr Tregoning, 55, said he had leukaemia, was unemployed and that his limited hearing sight, and lack of access to email meant he didn't receive or understand most of the court documents tendered.

He also said he had applied for a loan to fund what was needed to regularise their property but an issue with his partner's credit history had caused a delay.

Mr Tregoning was originally ordered to take down all of the structures on his property and remove the caravans.

But it was later decided he would not be prosecuted for his past illegal use of the land and the focus of the case turned to ensuring he complied in the future.

He was ordered to lodge an application for non-sewered residential plumbing approval and submit to the council a building approval for the existing mobile homes.

If he does not comply with those orders, he and his family will have to move.

He will also have to pay 50% of the court costs which have yet to be determined.

News Regional Media contacted Gympie Regional Council for confirmation the orders had been complied with but a response was not received.