Verge pro­gram expanded

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Aaron Cor­lett

THE Town of Victoria is in­creas­ing its ef­forts to ‘green’ lo­cal streets by ex­pand­ing its Adopt-a-Verge pro­gram.

The move comes af­ter Water Cor­po­ra­tion Sue Mur­phy said grassed verges wasted water and more res­i­dents should look at wa­ter­wise al­ter­na­tives.

At the Au­gust 9 meet­ing, coun­cil­lors agreed to ex­pand the pro­gram, which en­cour­ages res­i­dents to ap­ply to un­der­take works to verges ad­ja­cent to their prop­er­ties.

Since the pro­gram be­gan in Novem­ber 2014, the Town has re­ceived 35 ap­pli­ca­tions and given out 28 ap­provals, with 16 re­bates of $500 given out.

The coun­cil en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pants to use na­tive plants and to not use ir­ri­ga­tion, apart from trickle or drip sys­tems, among other re­quire­ments.

There is about $10,000 left from the orig­i­nal al­lo­ca­tion of $20,000 and it is un­der­stood once this money has been spent, more will be in­vested into the pro­gram.

Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the pro­gram would be expanded with more fund­ing and ad­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing to as­sist in rais­ing com­mu­nity aware­ness.

Mr Vaughan said he was sup­port­ive of Mrs Mur­phy’s com­ments about rip­ping up grassed verges for “less thirsty al­ter­na­tives” be­cause ir­ri­gated lawn re­quired high water use in com­par­i­son to a well-de­signed, wa­ter­wise verge land­scape.

“The Town is com­mit­ted to ed­u­cat­ing the com­mu­nity about its Adopt-A-Verge pro­gram while ac­knowl­edg­ing not all res­i­dents like the idea of land­scap­ing their ad­ja­cent verge,” he said.

“Par­tic­i­pants are tak­ing up the wa­ter­wise so­lu­tions – the Town has de­vel­oped doc­u­ments to as­sist in de­liv­er­ing wa­ter­wise so­lu­tions and prin­ci­ples.”

Mr Vaughan said he be­lieved there were a num­ber of ben­e­fits to the Adopt-a-Verge pro­gram, in­clud­ing green­ing streets and in­creas­ing bio­di­ver­sity.

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