Call for ban on synthetic lawn

Wembley Downs resident Wayne Monks in his sustainable verge garden.
Wembley Downs resident Wayne Monks in his sustainable verge garden.

Mr Monks called on the City to ban the synthetic product, arguing it contributed to the urban heat effect and caused issues with drainage and run-off.

He said the City needed to be more proactive in increasing the tree canopy of the area and allowing paving and synthetic lawn to be laid on verges did nothing to encourage this.

‘Synthetic grass should be banned completely and so should paving unless there’s a special permit and only for a certain section of the verge,’ he said.

‘The City of Stirling needs to do something seriously constructive with all the sprawling verge lawns and stop allowing ghastly synthetic lawns and paving, which does nothing to curb urban heat and improve the environment.’

City of Stirling manager of engineering operations Ron Spragg said synthetic lawn generated heat, discouraged drainage, complicated underground services and killed living organisms in the subsoil but it was up to the council to ban it.

‘The heat radiated from synthetic turf and the hardstand materials associated with laying synthetic turf have an adverse effect on street trees,’ he said.

‘By limiting the amount of synthetic turf, the City is enhancing the trees’ opportunity to survive.’

Mr Spragg said the City had in the past conducted research into synthetic lawn.

‘Before developing the current policy and guidelines, the City consulted with suppliers of synthetic turf as to the benefits and detriments of synthetic turf,’ he said.

Mr Monks said the City needed to discuss the benefits and drawback of synthetic lawn with its ratepayers.