Council drops veggie verge fee

A $130 drop in the proposed cost for Ballarat residents to garden their verge showed commonsense had prevailed, Food is Free founder Lou Ridsdale said.

A trial allowing residents to have planter boxes on their nature strip would initially have come with an annual $150 fee to cover public liability and inspections, but was lowered to between $10 and $20 at last week’s Ballarat City Council meeting. 

Relieved: Food is Free's Lou Ridsdale is happy to see the vege verge fee lowered from $150 to between $10 and $20 at last week's Ballarat City Council meeting.

Relieved: Food is Free's Lou Ridsdale is happy to see the vege verge fee lowered from $150 to between $10 and $20 at last week's Ballarat City Council meeting.

“Coming from a council that a little under a year ago was saying we weren’t allowed to do them, to then slapping a $150 annual fee to a complete turn around is a marvelous outcome,” Ms Ridsdale said. 

Ballarat City Mayor Des Hudson said any cost from lowering the fee could be absorbed by council, and there had always been “room for movement” in the proposed cost.