Council and residents feud over artifical turf

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Artificial turf is becoming a solution that allows for a modicum of greenery without the effort of actually maintaining a lawn.

But should you be able to put astroturf on your technically council-owned verge?

It’s a question that’s the centre of a feud between residents and the City of Marion in Adelaide’s south-west.

The council recently voted to allow residents to lay artificial turf on their verges. In response, resident Jane Preston drafted a petition calling for the decision.

Ms Preston was driven to protest because the decision didn’t make any sense given all the other work council is doing on environmental issues.

“They’ve done wonderful things here for the City of Marion,” she said. “They’ve done action on climate change. They’ve also helped with the promotion that we do of plastic free July. They’ve done more tree plantings.

“I, personally, think it doesn’t fit with the what the Marion council are trying to do. It doesn’t make good sense to encourage people to plant artificial turf.”

Local environmentalist Emma Sandery signed the petition because it was “a matter of principle”.

“We all know that with climate change our cities and suburbs are going to get hotter and hotter. They’re already built up environments; there’s not much greenery,” she said.

“The other thing that I think is a big problem with it is that it’s made of plastic, and at the end of its life will need to be disposed of to landfill.”

In the ensuing brouhaha, Cr Hutchison was forced to stress that the council was not rolling out artificial turf itself.

“[The] council has seen unregulated artificial turf being laid for years; now [the] council has put in the appropriate controls for those very few people would like to replace dolomite,” he tweeted.

“Unauthorised installations are likely to face removal unless they meet the guidelines. [The] council will also recommend alternatives such as shade tolerant plants. Meanwhile, [the] council has also resolved to invest in three times more street trees to reduce the heat island effect.”

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