Sunshine coast business forced to remove artificial turf

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Sunshine Coast Council’s demand that artificial turf on a footpath outside a Marcoola commercial premises be removed means it will look a mess, rather than neat and tidy, according to the property’s owner.

Harry Hatfull said it had taken the council four years to take notice of the less than 40 square metres of Pro Grass turf in front of the property in an industrial estate dead-end street.

“I don’t like turf and never have,” Mr Hatfull said.

“There’s not enough area to mow.

“I’m going to have to comply (with the notice to remove the material) and it will look like s—.

“It’s just stupidity.”

He said water restrictions were about to be introduced, declaring natural grass in that setting was a waste of water and required unnecessary effort to mow and maintain.

The council reviewed the decision at his request but rejected each of his points in support of maintaining the existing cover.

Harry Hatfull has been told by the council to rip up artificial turf on the footpath outside his Marcoola property.
Harry Hatfull has been told by the council to rip up artificial turf on the footpath outside his Marcoola property.Warren Lynam

The council quoted Subordinate Local Law No. 4 (Local Government Controlled area, Facilities Infrastructure and Roads) 2011 schedule 1 which declared interfering with any turf, sand, clay, soil or other materials on all local government-controlled areas and roads was a prohibited activity.

Subordinate Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2011 described the said interference as including for the purpose of Local Law No. 4 (Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities, Infrastructure and Roads) 2011 damage, destruction, tampering, removal, alteration, defacing, disturbance or change.

That covered land, facilities and other infrastructure owned, held in trust or otherwise controlled by the local government, other than a road.

The front verge, as home landscapers and eat street food tree planters have discovered, was council land that property owners were expected to maintain but only as the local authority saw fit.

Despite the artificial turf being of high quality and being professionally laid, the council contended that “the sub-surface may sink or wash out, pinned edges may become loose and present a tripping hazard”.

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