Council issues order to remove native ground cover
Maggie Bartlett's suggestion (Forum edition 487) that road verges should be planted with native cover, instead of imported grasses is a very good one, but unfortunately, the Council does not agree and actually prohibits such use.
At some expense, I removed the mud and weeds from my front verge and planted climate-appropriate native ground cover.
I immediately received a Council order to remove my planting and to return the verge to its original condition.
When I objected to this instruction, I was told that the native cover constituted a hazard and that a fine would be imposed, if it was not removed.
There was no explanation of how the native cover could possibly constitute a hazard, since the verge is unusable, and pedestrians have to walk on the road pavement.
The only recourse in this situation is an appeal to the Land and Environment Court which, of course, is prohibitively expensive for any houseowner, let alone a pensioner, so that the Council knows it can never be challenged on its decision.
It is obvious that matters of this scale should be dealt with by a simple submission to NCAT, but nobody is going to change the legislation, when few people are affected and there is no advantage to either state or local government to allow individuals access to a usable appeal channel.
This is something that might be taken up by the Community Environment Network, since road verges constitute a significant part of our urban environment and should be treated in a way that is appropriate to our local conditions.
Email, 6 Feb 2020
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy
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