Cr Rogerson Food for thought
  • Thursday 29 June 2017

Some food for thought on the urban food street..

Well, you’d have been hard pressed ­­missing the recent coverage and criticism council has copped regarding its actions at the verge garden in Buderim last week.

I’m going to put forward a few extremely pertinent points regarding this issue, which many people either don’t seem to be aware of or simply refuse to acknowledge.

Firstly, road reserve is road reserve, regardless of whether it is in a quiet street in Buderim with low traffic and pedestrian flows or a main collector road in Maroochydore, Nambour, Eumundi or wherever. Road reserve is there for pedestrian paths,  roads­, drainage and enabling various utilities such as water, sewerage and electricity.

Council has an obligation to help and encourage our community to improve the look and feel of our region, but we also have an obligation to protect ourselves and you, our residents, from safety hazards and potential litigation.

In light of this, council offered FREE permits to all landowners in the vicinity of this urban food street.. The purpose of these  permits was simply to ensure that things like driveway access and lines of sight for people in cars entering and exiting the properties as well as safe movements for pedestrians and cyclists within the road reserve..

In 99% of cases where a landowner cooperates with Council and signs one of these FREE permits, they don’t incur any extra financial charges from their home insurance provider. The reason for this is that insurance companies feel secure that if a homeowner has signed a permit with council, the road reserve area in question will have been thoroughly checked and cleared for potential safety risks and monitored accordingly.

The overwhelming majority of residents who’ve worked with council and obtained one of these permits have been extremely happy with the outcome. So it baffles me as to why the landowner in this instance, refused to work with us.

If somebody was injured in any way because their lines of sight were impeded on this road reserve where the fruit trees were situated in Buderim, council would be squarely in the firing line and could be heavily sued by the injured party. You, as ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast, would have been required to stump up/ no pun intended!) for court and liability costs. 

That is why we were legally obligated to ensure the landowner in this instance, worked with us and signed a FREE permit to ensure that no costing would be incurred by council if an incident occurred on the road reserve.

So in short, council was simply trying to do the right thing and ensure our legal obligations were covered and hence protecting you as a ratepayer. What is so unreasonable about this? If the landowner had worked with us, we could have had a very different outcome to the one we saw last week. By the way, negotiations regarding this matter have occurred over the last 8 months or so!!

Rounding off for now, Rogo.