Verg­ing on the end

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By JON BAS­SETT

COTTES­LOE’S wide grassed verges could be turfed out­for na­tive plants to stop waste­ful wa­ter­ing, un­der a $15,000 sub­sidy scheme.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said the vol­un­tary scheme, ap­proved by coun­cil last month, was open to residents through an ap­pli­ca­tion process.

“The ini­tia­tive has many pos­i­tive ben­e­fits, and most no­tably it aims to re­duce res­i­den­tial wa­ter con­sump­tion; this is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in light of Perth’s dry­ing cli­mate,” she said.

Cur­rently, about 40 per cent of home wa­ter use keeps out­door plants and grass green, and coun­cil­lors want that con­sump­tion re­duced.

Mrs Dawkins said the sub­sidy would en­cour­age plants that would at­tract birdlife, re­duce fer­tiliser run-off, and cool the town.

Residents would be en­cour­aged to plant at least one new tree on verges.

Town of Cottes­loe sus­tain­abil­ity of­fi­cer Melissa Rachan said cre­at­ing na­tive verges also brought neigh­bours to­gether when they gar­dened.

Be­fore agree­ing on the sub­sidy, coun­cil had about 15 ap­pli­ca­tions to plant na­tive plants on verges each year. The scheme aims to dou­ble that by us­ing a $15/sqm sub­sidy, to a max­i­mum of $500, for each newly re­planted strip.

Cheap, na­tive plants are pro­vided by the coun­cil in its Na­tive Plant Sub­sidy Scheme and residents who ap­ply for per­mis­sion to change their verge will have their un­al­tered sites in­spected and pho­tographed by staff be­fore ap­proval. The staff will con­duct an­other in­spec­tion af­ter per­mis­sion is granted and be­fore the re­bates are paid.

Fol­low-up checks will be con­ducted to en­sure the na­tive verge re­mains.

Town of Cottes­loe sus­tain­abil­ity of­fi­cer Melissa Rachan wants verges to be wa­ter­wise.

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