Residents and council discuss support for verge gardens
An informal meeting between the Sunshine Coast Mayor, councillors, council staff and Buderim community gardeners has provided an opportunity to start an initial discussion on all aspects of the approach to managing the authorisation of verge gardens.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the meeting held on Friday (July 7) was “very productive”, with residents presenting the benefits they had personally experienced as a result of their community verge gardens and outlining the views of Buderim residents in relation to current arrangements.
“It was a wide ranging and convivial discussion where the residents put forward their ideas and council outlined the rationale behind the current authorisation arrangements which are based predominantly on safeguarding the interests of our residents,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Importantly there was an acceptance that council’s guidelines are very generous in terms of the plantings that have been permitted, compared to those of other councils.
“In fact, there was a recognition by the residents that, in some respects, these may need to be revisited in the interests of public safety and focussing more on lower height plantings including dwarf varieties of certain fruit trees so their children and grandchildren can safely and more easily pick the fruit.”
Mayor Jamieson said the council outlined the reasons why a free permit was required and the rationale for the insurance requirements.
“At the heart of our requirement for the resident to hold legal liability insurance cover for their activities on the verge is council’s desire to safeguard the interests of residents who could face substantial legal and financial exposure if a person were injured and the injury was directly attributable to the resident’s verge garden,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our residents made it clear however, that the insurance requirement is the issue that is the most problematic and concerning for some residents.
Councillors and I were interested to hear the residents’ concerns in relation to their efforts to secure insurance cover.