LESS lawns and more native plants for ground cover could save thousands of dollars a year in maintenance costs, according to two Warrnambool City councillors running for re-election.
Jennifer Lowe and Peter Hulin have called for a major re-evaluation of the policy to reduce the area of grassed nature strips and verges on the council’s lawnmowing schedule.
“These are achievable goals which can save costs,” they said.
Cr Hulin cited the Geelong ring road as an example of how low-maintenance vegetation including trees, shrubs and groundcovers could be used.
“We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in Warrnambool just on mowing lawns and cutting grass around trees,” he said.
“For the past four years we’ve been urging council to adopt this low-maintenance style, but have been ignored.
“In the botanical gardens in Warrnambool there is the expertise to make this happen.”
Cr Lowe said schools and Landcare groups could also be involved.
“It would help make our city entrances more beautiful,” she said.
“This is about the triple bottom line — good for the people in reducing unnecessary workloads, good for the environment and good for profits in efficiency measures.
“Planting good low-maintenance groundcover is better than paying someone to keep mowing the grass.”
They also called for a reduced speed limit on the Queens Road hill near AquaZone and a pedestrian crossing to improve safety for schoolchildren.
“Parents have told me they are mortified their children have to go down the footpath which is so close to the road,” Cr Hulin said.
“The limit needs to be 40 kilometres an hour or less,” he said.
“This shouldn’t be a dragstrip.”
Cr Lowe said the crossing in Port Campbell’s main street was a good example of how a pedestrian crossing could work on a busy road.