Freo swings in verge rules

SWINGS and vegies are in but fake grass is out in Fremantle.

The port city council adopted some guidelines for tizzing up the city’s verges this week in preparation for drafting a new policy.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says the council has been very controlling about what homeowners did to their verges in the past, but was now encouraging them to become more creative.

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt leads a verge tour to give people ideas about how they can be invigorated. Photo supplied

He says people will now be able to have raised garden beds without getting approval, while they’ll only have to prove park benches or swings aren’t a safety hazard before popping them in.

Dr Pettitt led a tour of verges along Holland, Montreal and Forrest Streets last weekend, saying he was inspired by some of the efforts.

“What became apparent too is that native and productive verges are not only good for environmental reasons such as reducing water use and increasing biodiversity but they are also important socially, as residents use, enjoy and come together (and even share excess produce) as a result of more attractive verge gardens.”

Just before the guidelines were adopted, councillor Rachel Pemberton popped in an amendment to outlaw “astro turf”.

A staff report says native verges can save zillions of litres of water.

by STEVE GRANT

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