The State Government has responded to pressure from Redland City Council and local MPs and will reinstate its aesthetic maintenance program for State-controlled roads.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams applauded the government for listening to the people. Council ended its contracting services when the Government withdrew funding.
“We received scores of complaints from residents about the overgrown verges on State-controlled roads which had been ignored when the decision was taken to discontinue the aesthetic maintenance program to save money,” Cr Williams said.
“The axing of the aesthetic maintenance program affected our whole community, and all Redland City Councillors have actively advocated on behalf of their divisions to have the decision reversed.
“I wrote to Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson and Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Director-General Neil Scales to express our significant concerns.
“The issue was also raised with our local MPs – Peter Dowling (Redlands), Steve Davies (Capalaba) and Mark Robinson (Cleveland) – who strongly supported our stance.
“I am pleased the government has listened. This is a classic example of people power achieving a great result for our city.”
Cr Williams said Council was not willing to sit back and have state-controlled roads ignored and become eyesores.
“As well as writing to express our disappointment that the program had been slashed and our concern that road verges were allowed to become overgrown and an eyesore, we did mow some of the worst-affected areas, despite it not being our responsibility,” Cr Williams said.
“Council looks forward to working closely with TMR on our joint maintenance responsibilities.”
Councillor Paul Bishop (Division 10 – Birkdale/Thorneside), who took to the streets with his own mower in the lead-up to Australia Day, said business, residents, local, state and federal government had a role to play in the community.
“When everyone works together we can achieve so much. It’s good to see the State Government has agreed to continue playing its part in helping to deliver community expectations by funding roadside maintenance,” he said.
Councillor Lance Hewlett (Division 4 – Victoria Point and Coochiemudlo Island), who also voiced his concerns directly to TMR, applauded the decision and thanked Mr Dowling for his strong support to restore funding.
“I have fielded many complaints from residents over the past nine months about excessively long grass, roadside rubbish and litter and just the overall poor quality of maintenance when it was done by TMR contractors,” he said.
“This decision will ensure State-controlled roads such as Colburn Avenue and Cleveland-Redland Bay Road will be maintained more regularly and to the higher standards set by Council.
“The restoration of work will also reduce litter and rubbish build-up on these roadsides.”