Finding a solution — letter to Waverley Council and mayor's response

WAVERLEY Council’s order to remove a five year old footpath garden in Bondi, reported in the Wentworth Courier, brought a community response on social media in support of the garden’s continued existence.

The Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network produced a letter to Waverley Mayor, Sally Betts, proposing options to retain the garden and to use the solution as a means to reform the way council deals with public complaints so that

the process is open, transparent, democratic and on the public record.

Councillor Betts responded and you can find her response in the comments below.

[button_link url=”” target=”blank” style=”” title=”Waverley Council footpath garden letter” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]View pdf of footpath letter to Council[/button_link]




  1. ACFCGN Post author


    Dear Russ,
    As you know by our conversation I was pretty annoyed at your letter because you did not give Waverley any credit for supporting and promoting footpath gardens over many years and your letter tried to lecture us on their value.

    Waverley does support footpath gardens and has for many years and we have a very simple process of applying to make one. We need to do this to ensure that there is some standard for these gardens because in the end if someone trips or hurts themselves on the footpath it is Councils responsibility. You may be aware that Council in fact gives prizes for footpath gardens in our garden competition—this is not new.

    The issue in this specific case is that Ms. Boaz has not applied to us to have a footpath garden. Nor, I understand has she had a discussion with her neightbour about planting a garden outside their home. I do not believe that Council has done the wrong thing. We received a legitimate complaint and upon investigation found out that an illegal garden had been planted and have therefore acted accordingly.

    The solution to this issue is incredibly simple. Ms Boaz should apply to have a footpath garden. Once she has applied any potential order from Council would be stayed until a decison is made. In the meantime I would suggest that Ms Boaz has a conversation with her neighbour to seek permsision to plant a garden outside her neighbour’s home. I do not know what the Council decison will be but one would assume that in normal circumstances her garden would be approved outside her own home but not approved outside her neighbour’s home unless the neighbour agrees.

    In the end this is a common courtesy issue. We live in the most densely populated part of Australia and if we are to live in harmony with our neighbours we need to give them whatever courtesy we can. Everyone has some rights and in this case the neighbour also has some rights as to what happens outside their home.

    The solution lies in Ms. Boaz hands.

    Best wishes,
    Sally Betts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twelve + nineteen =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.