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City’s mowing crews looking to cut safety problems for road users

Glynis Quinlan 4 January 2019 42

Traffic intersections will be the first priority for the city’s mowing crews. Photo: Supplied.

The city’s mowing crews are riding back into action with gusto amid concerns that Canberra’s public spaces have become overgrown – with potential safety problems for road users.

Traffic intersections will be the first priority for the Transport Canberra and City Services mowing crews who returned from the festive break this week to find the grass had grown rapidly while they were away.

“The hot weather and rainfall in late 2018 has helped fuel grass growth across our city,” Acting Director of City Presentation, Michael Brice said.

“In addition to the weekly mowing cycle and to help get on top of the excessive growth, we will have more than 25 mowers working overtime this Saturday and again the following Saturday. If the dry conditions continue, we expect to get on top of the recent growth in the coming weeks.”

The ACT Government is responsible for mowing approximately 4,697 hectares of irrigated and non-irrigated grass in urban open spaces, sportsgrounds and at the urban edge.

There is a base mowing fleet of 73 mowers which is supported throughout the mowing season by contract mowers.

Mr Brice said that after focusing on traffic intersections, the mowing crews will target parks and green spaces on shared paths.

“Of particular concern is the ongoing problem of African Lovegrass (ALG) which is the source of much of the long grass, particularly along main roads,” Mr Brice said.

“ALG can grow very rapidly after being cut, particularly in response to rain and may throw seed heads as tall as 600mm within two to three weeks giving affected parts of the city an untidy and unkempt appearance shortly after mowing.

“To help restrict the spread of ALG, strategies are being developed that include modified mowing practices and additional herbicide spraying, particularly adjacent to high-value conservation areas,” he said.

“TCCS will be expanding the current program in areas that adjoin native grasslands and nature reserves, and will implement a reduction and containment program along main roads to help restrict the spread to non-infested areas.

“We are hopeful that our expanded containment program will, over time, work to reduce the opportunity for this weed to threaten our high-value conservation areas and further extend into open space areas.”

For more information about the city’s mowing program please click here.

Have you been concerned about any overgrown public spaces? Let us know in the comments below.


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42 Responses to City’s mowing crews looking to cut safety problems for road users
Liz Ponitka Liz Ponitka 7:23 am 07 Jan 19

Yes, wanniassa grass areas along Longmore and sulwood drive. Seems like areas have to be unusable / unsafe for a few weeks before they are mowed.

Graham Baxter Graham Baxter 6:59 am 07 Jan 19

Yes Gungahlin region generally with roundabouts a real concerns, often hard to see other vehicles

Sue N John Collins Sue N John Collins 6:42 am 07 Jan 19

Giralang pond and Baldwin near Gum st.

Carmen Bartley Carmen Bartley 11:51 pm 06 Jan 19

Along Isabella Dr at Chisholm

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 11:44 pm 06 Jan 19

They do a pretty good job, but nowhere as good as Queanbeyan.

FYI, in the fast growing grass months, private contractors mow the main arterial road verges. Government is responsible for the Parks, nature reserves and smaller suburban streets.

Les Eite Les Eite 10:59 pm 06 Jan 19

Have anyone seen the new trees planted on Flemington road. No one cares waste of money and watering them during the day that’s a bit stupid

Darren Goddard Darren Goddard 10:39 pm 06 Jan 19

My back yard!

Margus von Tihemetsa Margus von Tihemetsa 10:33 pm 06 Jan 19

It's not just the grass either - most old suburban streets and footpaths are lined with debris like bark, gum leaves and wood chips. A lot of green waste comes down and floats around during storms and most of it is never cleaned up.

Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 9:15 pm 06 Jan 19

The whole of Tuggeranong. Stop contracting the mowing out, they don't care. They make a horrid mess afterwards and it's not done anywhere near as frequently as it needs to be. It doesn't just look bad, it's a fire hazard and haven for snakes!

John Williams John Williams 9:11 pm 06 Jan 19

The problem is ACT Government wide. Contractors. No pride in the job done. In years gone by the mowers were operated by Government employees. These days it is costing more and the work is not up to standard.

    Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 9:16 pm 06 Jan 19

    John Williams 100%

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:15 am 07 Jan 19

    John Williams did you miss the bit where it said there were something like 73 government mowers supplemented by contractors?

    Matt Boyd Matt Boyd 1:10 pm 10 Jan 19

    John Williams only arterial roads are contracted out. All open spaces are done in house

Mat Barber Mat Barber 8:20 pm 06 Jan 19

They’ve been overgrown for years, clearly the budget has gradually been reduced, the GDE looked nice when it was built and within six months there is weeds everywhere, have some pride like we used to when the Federal Government maintained the city, everything is dead and overgrown now

    Tony Morris Tony Morris 9:25 pm 06 Jan 19

    Mat Barber oh but we had 2 referendums?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:17 am 07 Jan 19

    Mat Barber where you even alive before self government?

    Anissa Jones Anissa Jones 11:16 am 07 Jan 19

    You mean the two referendums where we voted NO and still got self government?

Donna Westcott Donna Westcott 8:16 pm 06 Jan 19

It's not just grass that's a problem some. Some street name signs are hidden by tree branches.

Warren Morris Warren Morris 7:49 pm 06 Jan 19

The mowing in Canberra is woefully inadequate!

Kelly Hughes Kelly Hughes 7:18 pm 06 Jan 19

Around ANY of the ponds in Gungahlin... oh wait, no that’s the ‘native grasses’ planted which not only look terrible but are the perfect snake habitat. 😒

    Laura Frame Laura Frame 10:51 pm 06 Jan 19

    what plants have they put in? (just wondering what to avoid planting)?

Tracey Crump Tracey Crump 7:06 pm 06 Jan 19

All alongKingsford Smith Drive, both the median strip and footpaths. Looks disgraceful, and also a traffic/ pedestrian hazard due to reduced visibility. In a region known for poisonous snakes, the generally overgrown state of most of our public spaces in both summer and winter is negligent and dangerous. This has little to do with recent weather, the mowing schedule across all seasons is just inadequate, and has been for years now.

Angel Belle Angel Belle 6:54 pm 06 Jan 19

All around Chisholm and along Isabella Drive is completely overgrown. You can’t see anything. Same with all the grass on the roundabouts where you can’t see either

Layla Barry Layla Barry 5:48 pm 06 Jan 19

What about the Barton Highway coming into the ACT.. Its embarrassing, and doesn’t get any better from that point either .

Michelle Preston Michelle Preston 5:02 pm 06 Jan 19

Cotter road near the turn off to the Governor Generals needs doing

Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 4:55 pm 06 Jan 19

That’s what happens when it’s hot, then it rains. Be patient people.

    Lucian Burca Lucian Burca 2:29 pm 07 Jan 19

    Oh, really? How often did you see the mowers in action since September 2018? I've seen them twice, at the beginning of the Spring and these days.... And I'm driving through all Canberra almost daily.

    “The hot weather and rainfall in late 2018 has helped fuel grass growth across our city,” Acting Director of City Presentation, Michael Brice said.

    “In addition to the weekly mowing cycle and to help get on top of the excessive growth, we will have more than 25 mowers working overtime this Saturday and again the following Saturday. If the dry conditions continue, we expect to get on top of the recent growth in the coming weeks.”

    Weekly mowing cycle... Really?....

Robyne Mitchell Robyne Mitchell 4:53 pm 06 Jan 19

I often wonder about their thoughts in telling us to be wary of Angel weed and Fire weed, but the public areas are covered in them. They ave no horticulturists only mowing people, who mow and that does not get rid of the weeds!

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