Council order could leave man out of work

BASS resident Shane Evans fears for his independence after the Bass Coast Shire Council asked him to remove signs and old cars from his property.
Shane’s property fronts the Bass Highway and he uses his small paddock to advertise his service of collecting unwanted cars.
He attached a sign to an old car a few years ago and parked it in his paddock to attract the attention of passers-by.
Shane transports the cars to a caryard in Pakenham and earns money from scrap metal and parts.
It’s his only source of income. He sustained a serious hip injury which requires a hip replacement and struggles to find employment.
He was shocked to find a letter in his letter box asking him to remove the sign, as well as five old vehicles on his property and another sign advertising a local business.
“It’s my job. If I pull that sign down I haven’t got a job,” Shane said.
“I’m not making much money but it’s a bit more than what I would get on the dole.
“I don’t want to be a burden on the taxpayers. I’d rather work for the money. And this is a way of doing it with a bad hip.
“Everyone that I’ve picked a car up from says ‘Thanks for putting up the sign, this car’s been sitting here for 12 months, you’re a lifesaver’.
“I don’t want to do the wrong thing by the council either. They’ve sent me a letter and I’ll abide by it.”
The letter also notifies Shane that he may wish to submit a planning permit application.
He believes a permit application will cost $700 with no guarantee of being approved, which Shane cannot afford to spend if it fails.
Council’s Manager Strategic Planning and Development, Jodi Kennedy said Shane was sent a letter on the February 23, indicating that the use of the land requires a planning permit as it is located in the Farming Zone.
“In addition, the current signage on site promoting his business also requires a planning permit,” she said.
“The signage promoting businesses not being conducted on the site are prohibited.
“Council officers have provided the land owner with the relevant information regarding applying for the appropriate planning permits and offered to provide further advice if required.
“We are unable to make any further comment as this is an active file that Council Officers are investigating.”