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Verges and gardens

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City of Rockingham

Your verge

Streetscapes or verges are typically described as the area of land between a road edge and the adjacent property boundary.  We ensure streetscapes are developed to an appropriate and consistent standard, with due regard to aesthetics and public safety. 

Frequently asked questions

  • Find frequently asked questions about verges and verge treatments.

    What is a street verge?

    A street verge is the area of land located between a street kerb and the boundary of an adjacent property. Verges provide a section of land which accommodates a number of essential public service utilities such as, street lighting, power, water, underground fire hydrants, sewerage, drainage, gas, telephone and optic fibre cables.

    Whose responsibility is the street verge?

    Verge development including acceptable materials and landscaping is the responsibility of the owner or occupier. Verge treatments must be installed, maintained and repaired in accordance with the guidelines and with the lawful directive of City officers to minimise risk to the public.

    In the event of a change of land ownership, the responsibility for a developed verge passes onto the new owner or occupier.

    ​The City is responsible for the planting, removal and maintenance of trees in the street verge.

    What are permissible verge treatments?

    Permissible verge treatments

    • lawn
    • garden
    • installation of acceptable material.
    Acceptable materials​
    • concrete
    • brick and paver
    • organic mulch - wood chip, pine bark and similar
    • compacted limestone providing a flat and stable surface
    • professionally installed synthetic lawn

    Acceptable materials are allowed to cover 50% of the verge or 10m2, whichever is the greater. The remaining balance of the verge must be lawn, garden or organic mulch.

    Unacceptable materials

    The following verge treatments are not permitted:

    • ​inorganic mulches such as gravel, stone, crushed brick or rock
    • bitumen or asphalt
    • items that protrude above the surface of the verge, except removable garden edging.
    Do I need permission to landscape my verge?

    When landscaping of verges only includes natural lawn, garden or organic mulch, landscaping can be undertaken without written approval. ​When landscaping of verges includes any other acceptable materials, you must submit a written application and include a plan for assessment and approval.

    Maintaining pedestrian accessibility

    Where a public footpath is not provided on either side of the road, a 2m wide pedestrian access must be provided along the kerb line.

    Maintaining visibility for pedestrians and motorists

    In order to ensure visibility for pedestrians and motorists, all vegetation (excluding street trees) must be maintained to a maximum of 500mm within 2m from the kerb line, areas adjacent to vehicular crossings and areas within 10m of an intersection.

    Can I install garden edging?

    Removable garden edging is permitted to delineate verge gardens and contain mulch. Conditions apply.

    Can I have irrigation on my verge?

    Waterwise verges comprising native plant species are encouraged so that irrigation of the verge is not required. Where irrigation is required conditions apply.

    Who takes care of the tree on my verge?

    We are responsible for the planting and maintenance of all street trees however we ask the owner or occupier to water newly planted trees.

    If a street tree has not been planted by us prior to the verge treatments being installed, we will provide advice on the location(s) of future tree plantings and a minimum of 1.5m x 1.5m opening must be provided. Root barrier should be installed by the owner or occupier to prevent root intrusion.

    Where do I find out the location of any underground services on my verge?

    Before any verge development work, call Dial before you Dig on 1100 or go visit the Dial Before you Dig website to find out the location of any below ground services on your verge.

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about residential driveways or crossovers.

    Is a permit required or do I need to submit an application prior to constructing a crossover?

    The first crossover does not need a separate application, but an application will need to be submitted to us for any additional crossover.  Please ensure that the crossover complies with our crossover specification below

    Can I remove the existing footpath to make way for the crossover?

    No, the footpath cannot be removed to make way for the crossover. The intent of the concrete footpath is to provide a continuous uniform path giving the pedestrian right of way and to prevent unwanted blocking of pedestrian access due to vehicles being parked on the crossover.

    Can I remove the existing kerbing?

    Yes, a property owner can replace existing kerbing at their own expense with a concrete apron (for a brick-paved crossover) or have a concrete crossover which borders the road at their own expense. A 25mm bull lip is required. Please refer to the our crossover specification below.

    Can I reduce the wing size?

    The ideal wing size for the crossover is exactly 1.5m.  Wing size must not be reduced unless there is no other design alternative due to site-specific constraints or surrounding assets. In such cases, reducing wing size to less than 1.5m (but not less than 1m) may be considered. You need to submit an application to the City for a modified crossover.

    What is the maximum width of the crossover?

    The maximum width of a crossover is 7m for the section between the boundary line and 1.5m behind the kerb line.

    How much rebate am I entitled to?

    If the crossover complies with the our specification, you may be reimbursed 50% of the cost of a single width concrete crossover at a rate established by the City on commercial construction rates.

    The crossover must comply with the  City’s Specification for the Construction of Residential Crossovers in order for the rebate application to be granted.

    No rebate is provided towards the cost of a second crossover.

    What is the required gradient/slope of a crossover?

    The required gradient/slope of a crossover is 2%.

    Can I have the crossover all the way to the property side boundary?

    No, the crossover must maintain at least 400mm offset from the property side boundary (excluding wings).

    What is the minimum distance from a crossover to street trees or utility boxes/pits?

    All elements of the crossover (including wings) shall be located at a minimum distance of 2m from street trees (to the trunk) and 1m from side entry pits, street light poles, bus stops, and pram ramps to obstructions. 

    Can I have a second crossover on my property?

    To have a second crossover you must have a minimum frontage width of 20m. Exceptions may be granted for a corner lot, if it can be demonstrated that the proposed crossover is also at a safe distance from the intersection.

    If you already have up to 50% hard surface coverage, excluding the first crossover, then a second will not be permitted.

    A second crossover is limited to 3m width with 1m splays.

    How do I apply for a second crossover?

    You will need to submit a plan of your crossover design showing its location, dimensions of the crossover, distance from site boundary, and confirming its proposed use.

Plants and gardens

Find out about plants and trees in gardens, including what not to plant. 

Pest plants

Pest plants are plants that are considered to be of environmental or horticultural concern. They are usually plants that have been introduced to the Rockingham area and can threaten the natural biodiversity or amenity of our reserves.

Under our Pest Plants Local Law 2000, the City of Rockingham may serve on the owner or occupier of private land notice requiring the destruction, eradication or otherwise control of any pest plant on that land. A summary of these plants and ways to control them have been listed below.

Found a pest plant on your property? See our Pest plant information listed below for removal information.
For pest plants on City property or for further information please contact us.

 

Schinus terebinthifolius Schinus terebinthifolius

Brazilian Pepper Schinus terebinthifolius

Brazilian Pepper is an invasive pest plant that can grow as a tree or a large shrub. The plant often produces sucker growth (root sprouts) forming dense thickets especially when the root system or canopy is damaged or pruned.Produces small bright red “berries” up to 5mm diameter during the winter months

Brazilian Pepper poses a significant threat to the floral biodiversity of wetlands and coastal regions of the Rockingham area. Brazilian Pepper can out-compete native vegetation by shading out or smothering understorey plants. Seeds are spread throughout bushland when eaten by birds and small mammals.

Smaller plants can be removed by hand. Remove the entire plant including all roots. Mature plants can be treated by stem injection of a 50% glyphosate mix or basal barked with 250ml Access® per 15L of diesel applying to bottom 50cm of trunks. Recommended timing for treatment is during summer.

Caltrop Caltrop

Caltrop Tribulus terrestris

Caltrop is a problematic pest plant both environmentally and in the home garden. This annual herb produces fruit with long sharp spines that are very painful if stepped on.

Caltrop may germinate at any time of the year following sufficient rainfall. Plants can reproduce continuously from spring to autumn and will readily infest bare disturbed soil. Fruit can cling to footwear, clothing, car tyres, bike tyres and animals. This assists the effective spread of seeds across large distances. If left untreated, large infestations can out-compete other ground cover plants including turf.
 
Remove smaller plants by hand. Remove the entire plant including all roots, pulling plants from the root crown. Wear gloves to avoid sharp spines. Place plants in rubbish bags and tie securely for disposal. Spray seedlings with a 1% glyphosate solution. Alternatively, diesel can be effective in killing plants and sub-surface seeds.
Pampas grass Pampas grass

Pampas Grass Cortaderia selloana

Pampas Grass is a tufted plant growing up to 4m in height. Large feathery flowers are produced at the ends of upright spikes in summer through to autumn. The female plant can produce a large number of wind-dispersed seeds which have long fine hairs. The grey-green leaves are large and rough with sharp edges.
Impacts

Pampas Grass infiltrates natural bushland where it forms dense thickets and out-competes vegetation. This alters habitat for native fauna causing a decline in animal numbers.

Cut out or dig out small plants and remove from site. Larger plants, remove flower heads and slash or burn clumps. Small plants can be treated with 13ml/L Fusilade Forte® + spray oil or; Spray leaves with 4% glyphosate, any regrowth can be treated with 1% glyphosate in spring.

 

Morning Glory Flower Morning Glory Flower

Morning Glory Ipomoea indica

Its large leaves are heart-shaped and the flowers are bright blue. Tubers and stem fragments produce roots and form new plants. Growth will rapidly spread and out-compete lower vegetation with its dense cover.

Plants can also climb into tree canopies affecting the natural structure of bushland. This can lead to a reduction in habitat and food available to native animals

Hand-remove all growth in contact with the ground. Cut plants at the base of the stem and allow growth to dry out before removal. Dig out all roots. Larger specimens – cut at the base of the stem and allow growth to dry out before removal. Scrape stem surface and apply 20-50% glyphosate; or cut vine approximately one metre above ground level and lay lower sections flat to apply 1.5% glyphosate. Recommended during the warmer months.

 

Fountain Grass Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass Cenchrus setaceus

Fountain Grass is a clumping grass introduced to Australia from Tropical Africa and the Middle East. The plant was originally used as a garden ornamental and to prevent erosion. Leaves are narrow and upright.

Fountain Grass forms dense populations that can out-compete native vegetation. It is highly invasive and once established can become difficult to control. Fountain Grass is drought-tolerant and grows in a range of habitats including coastal areas, wetlands, woodland and disturbed sites. 

Individual plants or small populations can be dug out. Slash larger plants in winter and spray with 1% Glyphosate + Pulse® in spring to autumn. Area of control should be monitored for any regrowth and seedling germination.

Coastal Tea Tree Flower Coastal Tea Tree Flower

Coastal Tea Tree Leptospermum laevigatum

Coastal Tea Tree naturally occurs in the south eastern areas of Australia. It grows as a large shrub or tree between 1.5m and 6m tall. Mature stems are covered with long strips of thin brown bark. Leaves are leathery, oval and grey-green in colour.

Coastal Tea Tree was introduced to Western Australia as a dune-stabilising plant. With the ability to produce large numbers of seeds this plant has become a highly invasive weed especially in coastal areas. It is tolerant to drought, strong salty winds and frost often forming dense thickets out-competing all other plants.

Small plants can be removed by hand. Larger plants can be cut off at the base of the trunk. This will usually kill the plant, but re-sprouting can sometimes occur. Any re-sprouting of stumps is treatable with 250ml Access® per 15L of diesel. Apply solution to bottom 50cm of trunk.

 

Use of herbicides

Use of herbicides in the City

  • The City ensures the safe use of herbicides is an integral part of weed management practices for staff and residents.
  • Weed management is undertaken in parks, streetscapes, natural areas and on roads.
  • While glyphosate is the most commonly applied herbicide in the City, alternative methods including steam and organic products based on acetic acid are currently being trialled.
  • Roundup Bioactive 360 is the herbicide used in aquatic areas and wetlands within the City because it has been approved for use in these environments by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
  • We are limited in relation to other effective methods of weed control that can be undertaken economically in natural areas. If weeds are left unchecked they out-compete native species and destroy habitat for wildlife

Safety

  • Glyphosate with its current constituents is considered safe, subject to compliance with the manufacturer’s safety guidelines for application, storage and cartage.
  • Glyphosate has been approved for use by the Federal Department of Health’s APVMA.
  • The City uses low pressure spray units where possible.
  • Signage is installed as per the Department of Health Guidelines when chemicals are being applied.
  • In large grassed areas, contractors display signs, use flashing beacons and use a foam residue marker to show where spraying has occurred.
  • The contractor spraying the kerb drives until he spots a weed and sprays directly on to the weed. They do not spray if people are in the vicinity.
  • All City officers are required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and are restricted to spraying on days when conditions are favourable. Favourable conditions relate to wind direction, wind speed and weather.

International and Australian considerations of glyphosate

The APVMA has indicated that glyphosate is a registered pesticide and it has been deemed safe to use as per the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

The APVMA concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans and that products containing glyphosate are safe to use as per the label instructions. It has not made any change to this stance since the release of the assessment outcomes on 23 March 2017.

The APVMA undertook a detailed assessment of the human health risks associated with glyphosates in late 2016, following concerns raised by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

For more information on APVMA's stance visit The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website.

Weed-free garden and footpath

Do Not Spray Register

I don’t want my area sprayed – what can I do?

If you don’t want the kerb or footpath near your property treated, please register your name and address on our Do Not Spray Register by emailing customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au. By opting into the Do Not Spray Register you agree to keep your verge and footpath weed free. 
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