Council listening to residents’ concerns about overgrown parks and reserves

Ipswich City Council is fighting back against Mother Nature in a bid to get on top of overgrown grass in its parks, reserves and near footpaths.

A notice of motion from Cr Andrew Fechner at the recent Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee meeting urged council to take the immediate action required to clear the backlog of overgrown council open spaces, including finding money in the budget.

Councillors unanimously passed the motion, calling for a report which includes:

  1. An update on council’s mowing activities over the 2020-2021 summer season and how these activities compare to previous summers
  2. The number of complaints received by council about overgrown council open spaces over the 2020-2021 summer season
  3. Information on the number of council staff and contractors engaged to respond to overgrown council open spaces over the 2020-2021 summer season
  4. Options which may enhance council’s response to high-growth periods including consideration of seasonal variations to established mowing schedules.

Cr Fechner said the report was intended to ensure an improved mowing program in the future.

“Over the last several weeks, significant community concerns have been raised about the overgrown condition of many council parks, reserves and footpaths following recent rain,” Cr Fechner said.

“It is appreciated that Ipswich has experienced a relatively wet summer and it is acknowledged that council staff have worked diligently to mow and maintain parks across the city.

“However, it is important that council endeavour to ensure that during high-growth periods, our open spaces are maintained to a level which meets community expectations in a cost effective manner.”

Councillors expressed their concern about unmown grass across all areas of Ipswich and that parents were fearful of snakes and other wildlife hurting children.

They reported that council and councillors had been “swamped” with requests from residents through phone calls, emails and social media seeking urgent attention.

Redbank Plains residents had presented a petition to council with more than 900 signatures asking for urgent action.

Read More

 >>>The grass is greener and longer and thicker for council mowing crews

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  1. If the council had not spent tens of thousands of dollars on modern art murals in town.

    May be there would be more money for mowing the grass.

    I have lived in Ipswich since 1987 and we have had way more wetter summers, than this one.

    So to say this is the cause is incorrect, its just council inaction and placing priority on things that do nothing to enhance the city profile, that has caused this.

  2. Howard Shephard is correct. To use “weather events”as an excuse for such dereliction of duty is a cop-out. I have had both written and verbal communication with council officials and elected representatives over the years, and still await a response regarding the frequency of rotation of work (I was once told unofficially that it was a nine-weekly cycle, which if true is disgraceful). In addition, great swathes of public land are cut by whipper-snippers, leaving the grass much longer than a mower would, and leading to mounds of more than half-metre lengths of grass over the footpaths and walkways which in turn, once dewy or damp, constitute another hazard to health and well-being as slips and falls could very easily lead to serious personal injuries. Just this week, the reserve at the back of my property was cut by whipper snipper and the majority of the area was not touched at all. I wonder whether council inspectors ever assess these works once they are done – it would seem not, as the same poor quality service goes on.

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