WHAT sad, sad news: Perth’s western suburbs newspaper The Post reports that Cottesloe town council is about to review a staff report that recommends taxing ‘unauthorised’ verge vegetable gardens.
According to the 08 November 2008 edition, the internal council report recommends that Cottesloe residents wanting to plant a kitchen garden in place of lawn on a street-side verge should pay a $100 licence fee and a $500 bond.
The Post reports –
A staff report said: ‘No permit is required from council for planting lawn verges. A permit is required for all other works in the verge, such as garden beds, shrubs, kerbing, paving, retaining walls, pipeline and below-ground reticulation systems. This shall be obtained by the owner/occupier submitting a sketch plan.’
An eight-page report (to councillors) said that an inspection fee of $100 should be charged for approval of a proposed vegetable or herb garden. It said: ‘No approval will be granted unless the proposed has been discussed with (council) staff on site and signed off prior to any approval being given. A bond of $500 is to be paid by applicants before any grant of approval, to cover the cost of reinstatement of verges once vegetable/herb gardens become derelict in the opinion of council staff. The bond will be repaid in full if and when any vegetable garden is removed and the verge reinstated by the applicant. If no reinstatement takes place then the bond will be applied either in full or part to fund work by council staff.’
The report warned that there could be disputes over produce…clashes over carrots, harsh words over herbs. It says: ‘Council staff will not become involved in the resolution of any disputes about vandalism, theft of produce or other upsets involving the general public and the developers of verge vegetable/herb gardens, except where staff involvement is needed to ensure the general safety of the total road reserve.’
The council is to consider the public response to the idea at its December 2008 meeting.
Slow Food Perth urges all Slow Food members and concerned residents living in Cottesloe to contact the council before 01 December to protest against the report’s thrust and recommendations.
Email all councillors as a group
Write to the council at Post Office Box 606 Cottesloe WA 6911, or telephone 08 9285 5000 and voice your concern about this proposed policy.