A burnt out house on Alder Street, Gladstone, is the victim of a suspected arson attack.
A burnt out house on Alder Street, Gladstone, is the victim of a suspected arson attack. Luka Kauzlaric

Arson accused's mental health in 'dire straits', court hears

A MAN who was charged with setting fire to a house in New Auckland over the weekend has had his mental health described as "in dire straits".

Travis Glover was remanded in custody and underwent a mental health assessment on Monday with Rockhampton health professionals via video link at Gladstone Hospital.

At the same time, his case was being heard at Gladstone Magistrates Court, where he was charged with one count of arson to a building and one count of public nuisance in relation to the incident at the Alder St home.

Gladstone Police prosecutor Sean Franklin told the Gladstone Magistrates Court that Mr Glover had displayed "concerning behaviour" while in custody at the watchhouse over the weekend.

Mr Glover's solicitor Sharon Kang said her client required ongoing medical assistance and made no request for bail.

"He is very emotional at the moment," she told the court. His mental health is in dire straits."

Arson offences are an increasing problem for Gladstone Police, with statistics showing numbers have soared in the region.

While records show just four arson crimes in 2010, in 2011 a dozen fires were deliberately lit, and last year there were 17.

Local authorities have already dealt with 12 deliberately lit fires to the end of August this year.

And the weekend blaze was the second in days, following a deliberately lit fire near the Calliope River substation on Friday.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service said that blaze, on Black Harry Island, was still burning on Monday.

Mr Glover was remanded in custody until October 21, when the Alder St charges and two separate charges for drink-driving and possession of dangerous drugs will be heard, possibly via a video link.

Following the medical assessment he will be transferred to Rockhampton Hospital.