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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3742 ..

The other impact of mowing is on our creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes, so it is great to speak in support of TCCS being called on to continually update and modify the standard operating procedures to minimise grass clippings entering stormwater drains and waterways.

As Dr Fiona Dyer has pointed out, Canberra’s urban streams do not have good water quality. Grass clippings are just one pollutant. Others include vehicle emissions, bird and animal droppings, leaves, rubbish and fertilisers. All of these can end up trapped in our ponds and lakes. This pollution caused the algal blooms on our lakes that were visible from space last summer. The best way to prevent these blooms is to prevent the nutrients from getting into the water bodies from our stormwater system. Grass clippings are a significant contributor, along with autumnal leaves.

However, prevention is not just a responsibility of the government. The landscape-wide implementation of water-sensitive urban design principles will also help, as will all Canberrans getting on board to help keep our stormwater clean.

The simple matter of mowing is also a matter of climate change adaptation, secure jobs, road safety, water quality and biodiversity. By taking a holistic view, we can get a better outcome not only for Canberrans but for the other living things that we share this beautiful space with.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.19): I thank Ms Lawder for bringing this motion to the Assembly, and Mr Hanson for representing Ms Lawder and moving her motion.

I questioned the government a few months ago on their mowing schedule, in time for the spring season. They assured me that there is a three-week mowing schedule in place for peak growing seasons, although it appears that this is not the case, as the grass in Yerrabi continues to sprout, with no mowing or sign of maintenance in sight.

This overgrown grass has caused an uproar in my community, and I do not blame them, really. This government knew spring was coming; it happens at the same time every year. So I do not understand why the government could not get organised, get ahead and make sure that the grasses were under control.

Not only is overgrown grass a complete eyesore for our community it also poses a health and safety risk for all users. With the grasses above waist height at almost every intersection, how is one supposed to see oncoming traffic? How are motorists supposed to see children waiting to cross the road? The question is: who is responsible if an accident were to occur due to low visibility as a result of this government’s neglect?

I also want to thank all of our local legends who are out there with their lawn mowers and whipper snippers, taking matters into their own hands, as they can see the danger posed by these overgrown intersections.

Mr Steel mentioned that, due to wet weather, they cannot get mowers out because it may cause damage to the ground and whatnot, but why can’t you get a few blokes together with some whipper snippers and clean up some of these intersections? It

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