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$10k to get your grass back

By 19 May 2009 34

The Canberra Times has the scandalous news that the Kingston traders have been asked to fork out $10,000 a year in exchange for getting a small patch of lawn back in Green Square.

    The traders have received a letter from Parks, Conservation and Lands asking them to consider collectively funding the ”additional costs required to establish and maintain a healthy cover of grass at Green Square”.

    The letter from Parks, Conservation and Lands acting director Jane Carder said the traders would be responsible for paying for the turf to be replaced every two years and for watering the grass using ”second-class water via tanker”.

If only there was a way to collectively fund community amenity.

Oh wait! Rates and taxes! And now special lawn levies for those able to pay for it.

UPDATED: The Greens Caroline Le Couteur is asking some good questions about where the Government’s priorities are in all this:

    “We don’t agree with Mr Stanhope’s suggestion that pebbles and spiky dry grasses are a suitable replacement for a communal lawn and think the Government should maintain grass for appropriate and popular public amenity, and in this case, it’s very little water for two small grass areas.

    “Perhaps the $10,000 a year could be found by taking a tiny portion of the seemingly endless funding for Mr Stanhope’s Arboretum,”

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34 Responses to $10k to get your grass back
#1
cring11:51 am, 19 May 09

It’s called soil, grass seeds and water; ffs, it’s not rocket science.

#2
punkarella11:55 am, 19 May 09

I’ll do it for half.

#3
peterh12:01 pm, 19 May 09

fake turf would be longer lasting.

#4
Skidbladnir12:10 pm, 19 May 09

Instead of Government demanding that the omnipresent chance of ineptitude in ACT Government be involved, why can’t the grass be decided on by the a committee of tenants (like a Cynodon dactylon “Legend” variant) and maintained privately using tenancy fees and tank water?

#5
MissChief12:51 pm, 19 May 09

Brown Square! What an embarrassment.

#6
miz1:12 pm, 19 May 09

This is ludicrous. Surely parks, conservation and lands ran it down in the first place? Besides, grass is much nicer than the spikes and bark look we are now getting everywhere (eg you can actually walk and play on grass).

#7
Clown Killer2:07 pm, 19 May 09

Our Canberra office is in Kingston. I must say that the ‘green’ part of green square is looking a tad unloved. For a while there it seemed like every year landscape contractors would descend on the place once a year work over the ground and lay new turf, which looked good until it died of neglect and the cycle would eventually be repeated.

I imagine that water restrictions play a role in the condition of the grass but I can’t imagine that there couldn’t be a way to overcome that with recycled water or similar.
That said, the retailers of Green Square do yield a certain amount of amenity from the landscaping, which in part contributes to attracting customers to the cafes and other businesses there, so it might not be unreasonable for them to make a contribution to the upkeep of the lawns. They already cover the cost of daily cleaning and other maintenance to improve amenity so it’s really not that greater leap.

#8
Thumper3:35 pm, 19 May 09

Wow, that’s brilliant. First the ACT government runs it down, and now they want money to fix it up.

The mafia couldn’t have done any better.

#9
peterh3:57 pm, 19 May 09

Thumper said :

Wow, that’s brilliant. First the ACT government runs it down, and now they want money to fix it up.

The mafia couldn’t have done any better.

you are right. the suspicious mounds would have been too inconvenient…

#10
colourful sydney rac4:04 pm, 19 May 09

If only Kate Carnell was still in power, she could paint it green.

#11
monomania4:22 pm, 19 May 09

The idea that the grass should be watered using “second-class water via tanker” is totally absurd and further shows what how effectively people’s views have been distorted since governments have decided to blame urban water consumers for their own failures. Having tankers delivering “second class water” all over town is environmental vandalism and a waste of money. Potable water is not that precious. Not precious enough to waste money on rainwater tanks either Caroline Le Couteur.
It would seem that she is only smart about her own finances

#12
A Noisy Noise Annoys5:13 pm, 19 May 09

Why does the turf need to be replaced every two years? And why can’t they install a sprinkler system instead of using tankers to water it?

#13
Thumper5:42 pm, 19 May 09

I’m always amazed that such simple problems lead to such complex solutions.

Seriously, Bunnings sell great big tanks for bugger all. Why doesn’t the government do it’s job and simply buy some tanks and put in irrigation.

It’s not rocket science, but it is obviously against their ideology.

#14
peterh5:45 pm, 19 May 09

Thumper said :

I’m always amazed that such simple problems lead to such complex solutions.

Seriously, Bunnings sell great big tanks for bugger all. Why doesn’t the government do it’s job and simply buy some tanks and put in irrigation.

It’s not rocket science, but it is obviously against their ideology.

drain the lakes for green square! ninja watering for all!

#15
sepi9:29 pm, 19 May 09

The turf needs regular replacing cos it is about the size of two backyards, but is used by hundreds of people a week.

It cant be watered with sprinklers as watering lawn is not allowed under water restrictions.

Put in a tank and be done with it. They could have paid for it with all the consultation and plans for spiky grass and tanbark etc that they have drawn up.

#16
old canberran9:31 pm, 19 May 09

I still reckon they are wasting their time and money while those 2 big trees are there. They just suck any moisture and good out of the soil making it real difficult for grass to grow.

#17
aussielyn10:20 pm, 19 May 09

Act Treasury could be placated and have the land make a positive on its balance sheet if a vertical interest is created making more housing choice. Rip it all up and put a twenty story round tower block on the land, this will make a Kingston tower triangle thus making symmetry.
The land is not heritage and we should maximise land usage within this precinct, as it all is looking rather old. The tiles portraying the olden days could be put on a wall at the entrance of the tower. We should not muck around with ratbags complaining about urban renewal.

#18
Clown Killer11:35 pm, 19 May 09

If you’re a regular in Green Square you’ll know how many of our really young Canberran’s enjoy that space whilst their mum’s catch up over a much deserved coffee. Surely it can’t be rocket surgery to come up with a way to keep these lawns nice and green.

#19
monomania11:58 pm, 19 May 09

sepi said :

The turf needs regular replacing cos it is about the size of two backyards, but is used by hundreds of people a week.

It cant be watered with sprinklers as watering lawn is not allowed under water restrictions.

Put in a tank and be done with it. They could have paid for it with all the consultation and plans for spiky grass and tanbark etc that they have drawn up.

So they don’t water lawn in Glebe Park and on numerous sports fields? Restrictions are what one makes them.

#20
chewy149:55 am, 27 May 09

chewy14 said :

“Perhaps the $10,000 a year could be found by taking a tiny portion of the seemingly endless funding for Mr Stanhope’s Arboretum,”

Oh Snap!

#21
Granny10:16 am, 27 May 09

“Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

Cat Stevens

#22
Thumper10:38 am, 27 May 09

They paved paradise and put in a parking lot…

#23
Granny10:46 am, 27 May 09

Who would ever have thought that grass could become politically incorrect?

*chuckle*

#24
ant10:56 am, 27 May 09

I reckon the businesses in Green Square could have easily got together and organised to water the grass themselves… re-using the water they used… there’s several hospitality businesses right there that must go through heaps of water.

I suspect one problem is that it’s in Kingston, and the gov’t is nervous about being seen to help too much a “silvertail” area. The fact that Green Square is part of old Canberra history, and is used by all kinds of people notwithstanding, it’s about perception.

How do they maintain The Lawns at Manuka?

#25
johnboy11:00 am, 27 May 09

Hmm, maybe the community could gather together to maintain common infrastructure you mean ant?

Which is, er, why we endure governments?

#26
caf11:06 am, 27 May 09

The government doesn’t maintain the grass on the nature strip outside my place, either.

#27
Granny11:07 am, 27 May 09

Apples, meet oranges ….

#28
caf11:11 am, 27 May 09

Neither the park across the road.

Clearly there is some prioritisation going on about which common infrastructure is maintained.

#29
Granny11:16 am, 27 May 09

Clearly … as the Greens have pointed out, I believe.

#30
Granny11:23 am, 27 May 09

Ok, I don’t want things to go this way. Rewind ….

Here is what I really want to say. Not all Canberrans care about this issue. Those who do will likely consist of:

* Those who have a nostalgic historical association with grass in that location,
* Those who have children, and
* Those who prefer grass.

I think you will find that the will of the people adds up to grass in Green Square. Perhaps they would be willing to lose an equivalent sized patch of grass elsewhere.

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