Footpath garden in Bondi, Australia must go, says Waverley Council
“I’m happy to take it out, but you have to give me a reason, otherwise I’m not removing it and I’ll fight for it.”
By Shae Mcdonald
3 Nov, 2012
A community garden in Bondi will be no more after Waverley Council ordered the owner to remove it.
Nicolette Boaz planted the garden on her adjoining neighbour’s side nature strip on Simpson St five years ago, after she said it wasn’t being used and resembled a “sandy wasteland”.
After replenishing the soil, she planted herbs, fruit and vegetables for herself and her neighbours.
Ms Boaz said it had generated a lot of good feeling within the community. “If people say a nice way to meet people is to have a dog, then you should try having a garden,” she said.
“Everyone who comes by, I say to them: ‘Please help yourself, plant things, take things.’ Everyone knows that it belongs to everyone.
“People have brought mulch down and the little kids come along and eat the strawberries.”
However, two weeks ago she received a letter from the council ordering her to remove the garden.
“I’ve rung them and said: ‘I will take it out, I’m happy to take it out, but you have to give me a reason’, otherwise I’m not removing it and I’ll fight for it,” Ms Boaz said.
A Waverley Council spokesman said while they supported footpath gardens, Ms Boaz did not get approval.
“The neighbour must give consent,” he said. “In this case, the neighbour has complained and brought the matter to council’s attention requesting removal of the garden.”
Ms Boaz said it was important to keep community gardens. “(It’s) not just for me … It represents a way that I think we’ll all have to head towards, otherwise we’ll be in crisis.”