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Australian woman sues neighbours over barbecue use

Australian woman sues neighbours over barbecue use

  • 3 September 2019
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Carden said she was disturbed by the smells of her neighbour's barbecue and other nuisances

A woman in Western Australia has tried to stop her neighbours from using their barbecues by suing them in court.

Perth woman Cilla Carden claimed that their activities - among them barbecuing and smoking - as well as their noisy children, breached residential laws.

She sought legal orders to prevent the alleged nuisances from continuing.

A tribunal, and the state's highest court, rejected her claims as unreasonable and lacking in evidence.

Her list of demands also included orders for a family living next door, and another neighbour, to reduce their patio lighting, silence their pets and to replace plants in the common garden.

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She alleged that wafting smells of cigarettes and barbecues had caused "undue offence" to her in her home in the Perth suburb of Girrawheen, according to a Supreme Court of Western Australia judgement published in July.

"They've put [the barbecue] there so I smell fish - all I can smell is fish," Ms Carden, who is a vegan, told Nine News on Monday.

"I can't enjoy my backyard, I can't go out there," she said.

'They are living in their home as a family'

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia rejected her demands in a case hearing in February - including a request for her neighbour's children to be quiet when playing outside.

"The Tribunal does not accept that [the parents], by allowing their children to play in the backyard... use the patio for small scooters or toys, constitutes reasonably a nuisance," the tribunal said.

"What they are doing is living in their backyard and their home as a family."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The row occurred between three neighbours in a Perth suburb

The tribunal also noted that the same family had already moved their barbecue prior to the hearing in an attempt to appease Ms Carden.

"[They] have not allowed the children out at night, have not used the patio at night, and have not turned on the lights for several months for fear of reprisals from the applicant," the tribunal said.

Ms Carden challenged the tribunal's decision in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in March.

In handing down his rejection in July, the judge noted that she had submitted close to 400 pages in her appeal.

"The volume of material that she has produced... suggests that these matters have to an extent become somewhat overwhelming," Chief Justice Peter Quinlan said.

Ms Carden told Australian media she plans on taking further legal action.