Around 30 people were in attendance at the meeting and there were major presenters from Stockland’s environmental planning section and a Sunshine Coast Council “Raingardens” spokesperson.
Stockland’s Mark Stephens along with Brad Dalrymple (BMT Global) discussed how the design of raingardens had evolved markedly since they were first included in sections of Bellvista. Those raingardens are very different to raingardens being installed across Caloundra South. The new raingardens will be substantially different to those we see in Bellvista and Bells Reach today.
The introduction of roads and other hard surfaces has changed the flow of storm water so it now moves more quickly and carries rubbish along with it. Raingardens were introduced to slow the flow of storm water, to allow it to ‘pool’ and then soak into the soil and ‘naturally’ filter out contaminants. The cleaner storm water could then flow into the Lamerough Creek catchment and eventually though to the Pumicestone Passage.
The original raingardens were planted with weather resistant grasses which over time do become brown, ugly and an eyesore.
Council’s Nicholas Coluccio reported that over the last months, there had been a spike in complaints from residents with an unsightly raingarden along their property border on the roadside verge.
Roadside verges (a part of the whole road reserve) are managed by Council so maintenance is a role for Council. Residents should not go and immediately cut back any unsightly plant growth. Council is busy re working their guidelines for raingarden maintenance and have heeded resident concerns.
Council has modified the list of plants which can be grown along the borders and down the side of raingardens. Council will now cut those unsightly grasses to a lower height (30 cms).
Council wishes to work with residents to improve the look of raingardens and are happy to visit and discuss your concerns. Council are the ones with the task of maintaining the raingardens. So in consultation with residents, they will beautify and advise residents on the upgrade of any raingarden.
You can request a visit from Council to discuss your raingarden concerns as a “Service Request” through the MyCouncil website.
Or call your local Council Offices and ask to speak with someone looking after “raingardens”.
Nick repeatedly said to say that Council is extremely keen to work with residents on the raingarden issue. Following consultation with the resident and the work being completed, Council will request the resident monitor the raingarden and carry out minor maintenance from time to time.
Council expects to have a brochure distributed to residents with raingardens available in the near future. These will be distributed when they become available. Signage will be erected on streets with raingardens advising residents of the raingarden’s purpose.
Council will distribute these fact sheets annually to inform new residents about rain gardens and their care.