Mower shortage behind “unsightly” parks & gardens

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Whittlesea Council is under fire for “unsightly” parks and gardens across the municipality, with one councillor likening the strange scenes to a “ghost town”.

Cr Norm Kelly said council-owned land throughout Whittlesea was overgrown with weeds and long grass and blamed the council’s new parks and gardens contractor GreenLife Group (GLG) for failing to deliver the crucial service ahead of the fire danger season.

Cr Kelly also told the Leader GLGdid not have enough mowers and were awaiting extra machinery.

“It doesn’t matter where you go in the City of Whittlesea, the parks and gardens are a mess everywhere,” he said.

“Even the parts that are done look rushed — it’s like no one owns the area.

“It seems like a strange situation where the council has given a new contract to these people (GLG) but they don’t have the equipment to fulfil their service.”

Pandora Park, Thomastown.
Pandora Park, Thomastown.
A pedestrian path in Lalor.
A pedestrian path in Lalor.

Rivergum Cricket Club vice-president Andrew Hopgood said the “disgraceful” ill-maintained land surrounding his cricket ground was costing the Mill Park club a small fortune.

“If a ball rolls under the fence we have to spend 10 minutes looking for it among knee-high weeds and shrubs,” he said.

“But most of the time the ball is lost and we have to fork out at least $60 for a new one.”

But Whittlesea Council’s director of city transport and presentation Helen Sui claimed “extra efforts” had lead to about 90 per cent of “priority areas” throughout the municipality being completely maintained.

“We have a detailed schedule for mowing, maintenance and clean-up in place, which has been enhanced over the past month,” she said.

“Our roadside slashing program of 120 urban roads is almost complete – four weeks ahead of schedule.

“We will remain at this pace over the coming weeks, ahead of the official start to summer.”

The council appointed GLG as the municipality’s new contractor for grass and garden maintenance in April.

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