$5000 fine hanging over the heads of a Norman Park couple – all because of what they’ve done with their veggie patch

Posted on Oct 16 2015 - 7:29am by UOG

Original post can be found at: http://blogs.abc.net.au

13 October 2015 , 9:17 AM by Spencer Howson

Norman gardenLeft: Kay and John’s nature strip community veggie patch. Image by Terri Begley/612 ABC Brisbane.

Your veggie patch is constantly attacked by possums – so you try something different.

You move everything outside your fence – onto the nature strip – and for whatever reason, the possums leave everything alone.

You invite everyone in the street to enjoy the fruits of your labour and for years, everyone’s happy. Even though you know you’re not really meant to be planting anything on the footpath.

Then, in 2015, someone complains to council and suddenly you’re facing a $5000 fine.

Terri Begley is live at Kay and John Davidson’s place in Norman Park and BCC’s Parks, Environment and Sustainability Chair Cr Matthew Bourke is on the phone:

Statement from Brisbane City Council 10.52am:

Council has completed its review of a complaint received about a verge garden planting at Norman Park and the plantings will be retained with a small change. Council must conduct an investigation and notify residents when a complaint is made against them. The priority is to always allow pedestrian safety and to ensure no impacts to underground public utility services. In this case, the commonsense solution is for the garden to remain with a small change to the garden edge to remove a trip hazard. Council is conducting a review of its current practices with the view of creating a new guideline to make it easier for residents to undertake garden plantings outside their fencelines.

Postscript Wednesday 6.35am – Cr Bourke explains the statement here:

Kay says: “That is AWESOME news Spencer. Thank you!!! It would not have been possible without the fabulous community support and in particular your broadcast. The power of media!!! I am really pleased that common sense did in fact prevail. The development of guidelines for verge gardeners is a positive move forward. This certainly has been a great outcome-thanks again Spencer and please thank Matthew for me.”

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