Combine good rainfall and a few warm days and Canberra has the perennial problem: fast-growing long grass and a government struggling to keep up to keep the growth down.
The Canberra Liberals will use a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday to call on the territory government to boost funding for the public land mowing program and investigate how to improve the current mowing program.
The opposition's spokeswoman on city services, Nicole Lawder, said the government needed to better invest in the mowing operation, which needed to manage a long-running issue in the ACT her constituents regularly raised.
"The complaints range from visibility at roundabouts, it ranges from safety in terms of snakes in the long grass when you're walking through some of the shared path areas, it ranges from concern about the bushfire and fire hazard of long grass, and just to people being proud of their area and wanting to enjoy the visual amenity of their suburb," Ms Lawder said.
Ms Lawder said a temporary boost to the mowing budget made in November last year should be permanent
"The mowing operators do a great job, often under difficult circumstances. It can be really hot, it can be dusty. It's no fun. But they're not being given the resources they need to do the job that Canberrans expect," she said.
The ACT government is responsible for mowing more than 4300 hectares of suburban land in the territory. and the annual mowing program, which began on September 1, uses a fleet of 73 mowers which cover 68 hectares each every four weeks.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said at the time a wet winter meant there would be fast growing grass across Canberra and crews would focus on areas to prevent line-of-sight issues for drivers.
"We will also be mowing the irrigated parks around town at staggered times and ACT government sportsgrounds, which are seeing extra traffic at the moment with more Canberrans doing individual exercise outside," Mr Steel said.
"We ask for the community's understanding and patience as our crews work to mow priority areas across the city while also complying with current health directions."
The ACT government will amend Ms Lawder's motion. A map published by the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate shows significant areas across Canberra's urban areas are scheduled for mowing in the next fortnight.
The mowing program was also slowed last year due to wet weather, with no mowing able to be completed on rainy days.
"Every effort is being made to maximise the use of existing mowing resources, including undertaking extended weekday and weekend mowing shifts, prioritising mowing to ensure that minimum standards of safety and access are achieved and gaining assistance from mowing contractors," a government brief prepared in February said.
MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS:
Up to 80 millimetres of rain is forecast to fall in Canberra across Thursday and Friday, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of possible heavy falls and the chance of thunderstorms.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Hugh McDowell said Canberra would experience fairly frequent showers over the next two days, with an area of low pressure moving from the inland that will push over the Canberra region.
"There will be lingering showers due to a trough over eastern NSW on Saturday, not as much in the way of rainfall on Saturday. ... There might be a few sunny breaks on Saturday and for the most part it's not going to be that wet," Mr McDowell said.
Sun-seekers will have to wait until next week for periods of proper sunshine, but there were close-to-even odds Canberra would experience an average level of rainfall in summer.
Mr McDowell said there was an overall 62 per cent of above average rainfall in Canberra over summer, which was not much more than a 50-50 chance.
"It doesn't look like there's strong probabilities of a washout summer," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: