Caroline Le Couteur gets on the Green Square grass

johnboy 4 February 2009 29

Back in November we had a look at another piece of ACT Government unpleasantness relating to Kingston’s Green Square.

Now the Green’s Caroline Le Couteur is going in to bat for the important piece of community amenity, and she’s wise to the ACT Government’s wicked ways:

    “The area is called Green Square because of the green square of lawn. It’s just not good enough to stop watering the lawn over the hot summer months while we wait for the Government to make up its mind as to the site’s future.” Ms Le Couteur said today.

    “This is about the basic upkeep of an amenity in a popular shopping district. The shop owners can’t do it themselves because of water restrictions. The government has water for other public spaces -why not Kingston?”

    “There is a lot of medium density housing around Kingston and the people deserve some green space near them.”

    “400 people signed a petition to keep the grass here, and the Greens would like to see that happen.”

    “We’re concerned that letting the grass die is a tactic to pre-empt the decision to remove the grass permanently.”

    “It’s been a failure of consultation from the start, and we find ourselves in this ridiculous situation of waiting for a decision, while Green Square turns into a dust bowl.” Ms Le Couteur said.

Should we be surprised that the ACT can’t maintain something so simple?


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29 Responses to Caroline Le Couteur gets on the Green Square grass
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sepi sepi 3:43 pm 05 Feb 09

We used to drive thru Goulburn. They had a sign at the servo asking people to please not use the toilets but to drive a bit further, as there was no water to flush.

Granny Granny 3:06 pm 05 Feb 09

Well, I think you should know then, Gungahlin Al!

: )

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:50 pm 05 Feb 09

I lived in Goulburn through the worst of its water crisis and can assure you it wsn’t a beat-up. There was nothing but a puddle (literally) in the bottom of the main water supply dam Pejar Dam. And my day job was mostly processing drought assistance claims for farmers who were watching generations of work and herd development going down the gurgler.

We were deep in Stage 5 restrictions when Canberra was complaining about Stage 2. A city full of beautiful gardens was laid waste, sports competitions stopped due to the dangerous field conditions, and the only respite from the endless brown was the little patch of green in the park in the middle of town. Sound a bit familiar?

What Sepi said.

The cat did it The cat did it 1:59 pm 05 Feb 09

Unfortunately, it sounds like some ambitious knuckle-dragger in the ACT government is trying a bit of redevelopment by neglect, ie let it run down then say that it is too expensive to restore, so it’s good to see Caroline LeCouteur drawing attention to what’s going on. Green Square is an intensively-used location- lots of people gain considerable amenity from the lawns there. On a square metre basis, probably many more than benefit from sports grounds.

If the Government is going to be consistent about this issue, they should try the same stunt on the well tended grass at the Lawns in Manuka. The well-heeled denizens of Manuka would be tearing pieces off Sonic before you had time to say ‘double-decaf skim soyachino, please’.

One minor quibble though- is it really called Green Square because of the lawn? Given the naming of Canberra’s streets and other places, it’s probably named after a person if it’s a formally gazetted location. ACT Greens need to protect their credibility.

sepi sepi 8:42 am 05 Feb 09

goulburn is ok since a downpour filled their dam.

well used small public spaces like green square should be maintained.

they could save water in other ways, like rebates for front loader washing machines like qbn has.

or – yunno – crack down on the building industry.

willo willo 8:18 am 05 Feb 09

old canberran said :

We are in the middle of a drought. Water is a very scarce resource and should not be wasted watering grass, any grass. That is just sheer waste.
Last Sunday night my wife and I stayed at Uni House Hotel and I was staggered to see at 6am on Monday morning, sprinklers going flat out watering the lawns inside the quadrangle. How do you think people from Goulburn, for example, feel when they see lovely green grass around some of the buildings in Canberra. The government should be setting an example, not brazenly flaunting their authority.

yass dont seem to have a problem….the park in the center of town has lush green grass while all the surrounding houses have dead, grey lawns

Granny Granny 2:00 am 05 Feb 09

It brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people. I don’t see that as a waste so much as an investment in our city. You only have to look up the hill to Parliament House to see that some lawns are more equal than others.

Also, we visited Goulburn last week and were told by the residents that the city had plenty of water and, in fact, the widely reported shortage was more political beat-up than actuality. I wouldn’t claim to know personally, but thought it was interesting.

old canberran old canberran 12:58 am 05 Feb 09

We are in the middle of a drought. Water is a very scarce resource and should not be wasted watering grass, any grass. That is just sheer waste.
Last Sunday night my wife and I stayed at Uni House Hotel and I was staggered to see at 6am on Monday morning, sprinklers going flat out watering the lawns inside the quadrangle. How do you think people from Goulburn, for example, feel when they see lovely green grass around some of the buildings in Canberra. The government should be setting an example, not brazenly flaunting their authority.

Granny Granny 11:59 pm 04 Feb 09

I would also hate to lose the grass …. Keep Green Square green!

mr grumpy mr grumpy 11:33 pm 04 Feb 09

cube sports turf..shaping sports turf to perfection

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 8:13 pm 04 Feb 09

FFS, it’s a small patch of grass that needs watering now and then. What is wrong with this government?

My thoughts precisely Thumper!

And Tom Tom, I think it’s good that a Molonglo MLA is paying some attention to a Molonglo issue. It’s important and high profile for a lot of people. Are you suggesting Caroline should only bother with “big issues”?

Elected reps can’t win in this town. They focus on big stuff, or have the temerity to pass comment on a global issue, they’re told to stick to the roads/rates/rubbish stuff and remember they’re just an overgrown council. They speak up about piss poor maintenance of a public square and they’re told to stick to big issues…

God forbid any of them should dare speak up about the disgusting chipseal bitumen that is rapidly taking over all of our suburban streets!

Walk…chew gum…same time.

I-filed I-filed 6:32 pm 04 Feb 09

Gobsmacked. My neighbour mows and maintains a government-owned piece of turf about 20 times the size of Green Square. We all maintain our naturestrips. For gawwsakes, one half of a nature-strip equivalent between about a dozen businesses. Water the damn thing out of dregs from clients’ water bottles or something.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 6:23 pm 04 Feb 09

I lived in the area and would hate to see Green Square’s grass go but this

Kramer said :

If the tenants / owners of the green square buildings were so concerned with their precious patch of turf, you would think they would water it themselves – or even better divert the stormwater from the rooftop onto the grass.

is exactly what we were saying watching the story on the news.

johnboy johnboy 5:33 pm 04 Feb 09

heinous said :

The solution here is so obvious. Get some rain water tanks.

So how much of your own money would you like to spend on something the government might choose to tear up tomorrow?

heinous heinous 5:30 pm 04 Feb 09

The solution here is so obvious. Get some rain water tanks.

deezagood deezagood 2:59 pm 04 Feb 09

I agree with Sepi here, but I can also see the counter argument. Given that it is such a small area, why not go the ‘AIS’ route and install that new breed of fantastic artificial grass that looks real, feels real but requires no maintenance (and is far less itchy). The stuff at the AIS athletic field is great and plenty of people choose to sit on it and have their lunch etc… No weeds or brown patches either. Okay – not quite the same as the real thing, but better than both a big ugly dust bowl and wasting water in these dry times.

sepi sepi 2:38 pm 04 Feb 09

Well if it comes to that, then just leave it to go dustbowl like the sporting grounds, and it can regrow when we get some rain, or the shop-owners can bucket water or whatever.

Honestly, it is not a huge area, but it is well used by all sorts of people – workers during lunchtime and after work weekdays, families on weekends, and clubbers by night.

Once it goes to ‘landscaping’ it becomes useless. Look but don’t touch.

tom-tom tom-tom 2:24 pm 04 Feb 09

good to see the greens tackling the big issues, although i suppose we should be thankful they havent turned their attention to schools or hospitals yet.

seriously though we are in a long term drought and we are going to face water restrictions for quite some time, maybe, just maybe ms le couteur and some people here need to accept the realities of this. yes it would be nice is this particular patch of grass was kept green, but not at the expense of water we could use for something more useful.

housebound housebound 2:14 pm 04 Feb 09

I had a vague idea that the businesses wanted to use grey water to do the watering, but the government wouldn’t let them.

Good on the Greens for having a go.

Thumper Thumper 1:57 pm 04 Feb 09

FFS, it’s a small patch of grass that needs watering now and then. What is wrong with this government?

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