An article in the Canberra Times has outlined Opposition Leader Alistair Coe plan to introduce new laws into the ACT Legislative Assembly seeking to strengthen the government's power to force properties to be cleaned up.
Frequent inspections and hefty penalties for residents whose properties need to be "rectified" have also been flagged, under proposed amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007.
However, Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT executive officer Simon Viereck warned against a punitive approach to dealing with hoarders. "With hoarding, there is usually and underlying mental health issue. It is not a case of someone simply wanting those items," Mr Viereck said. "The focus should be not on removing the items, because they will just be replaced, but on removing the compulsion [to hoard]."
This article present us with an ideal opportunity to say that we have had a number of conversations on around hoarding and the lack of education for people on this complex issue. So, the College will like to announce that we will be hosting a course, Buried in Treasures, early next year which has had great success in helping people who live with this compulsion. We will have more information on this towards the end of the year. please keep your eyes open and check our website regularly for any updates.