Nature strip nightmare: it's a jungle out there
AT 73 YEARS of age and as carer for her 99-year-old mother, Joyce Lang doesn't have the time or the energy to mow the huge nature strip in front of her South Kolan property.
She has been under the impression that it was the job of council or government workers to maintain those sections of state-owned land.
Tom Orpin, Mrs Lang's son-in-law, has been campaigning on her behalf for more than three years to get someone to take care of the area and said his concerns had fallen on deaf ears.
"I have been to council who passed me on to the head of Parks and Gardens who told me to go to RoadTek who told me it was definitely a council problem" Mr Orpin said.
"The section of nature strip is about 40m by 50m and constantly growing.
"I could do it for her myself but taking all of the green waste to the dump every few weeks is going to cost me a fee and why should I pay for something that is council owned?"
Mr Orpin said he and Mrs Lang have been told by council that maintaining everyone's nature strips was not in the budget.
But council environment and natural resources spokesman Bill Trevor said the area in which Mrs Lang resides, along Gin Gin Rd, was not in their jurisdiction.
"This section of Gin Gin Rd is state controlled and as such is maintained by the Department of Transport and Main Roads," he said.
Cr Trevor said that although council was trustee of land such as nature and median strips on behalf of the public, it was accepted practice for maintenance to be undertaken by the owner or tenant of the adjoining property.
"Council does not have the resources to maintain all property frontages within the region, which stretches across 6500 square kilometres," he said.
"As such, council relies on residents to carry out this work which allows our staff to focus on the maintenance of parks and streetscapes."
A Main Roads spokesperson said routine maintenance guidelines required workers to maintain clear visibility on the state-controlled road network for the safety of motorists, including the area where Mrs Lang resides.
"Under this arrangement, maintenance contractors mow up to 3.6 metres from the road edge," the spokesperson said.
"Mowing beyond this point may be arranged by the property owner however, vegetation clearing is not permitted.
"Recent mowing of this portion of the state-controlled road reserve in South Kolan was completed in February 2017."
But Mr Orpin said it wasn't good enough.
"How can it be the responsibility of the property owner if they don't own the land?" he said.
"It would only take crews an extra ten minutes to mow the rest of the nature strip"
"If Joyce was to do it herself she would be out on the road trying to get to it all and putting herself in harms way."