Budget to bolster in-house mowing and maintenance team

30 June 2022

The Ipswich City Council 2022-2023 Budget is set to boost mowing and maintenance services by $1.7 million in a move which will see council bolster its in-house mowing team and deliver a better service for residents.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said this council’s third budget would deliver $1.7 million for expanded in-house mowing and open space maintenance work, building on the additional $550,000 committed in the 2021-2022 financial year.

“Mowing means a great deal to the residents of Ipswich. We like to enjoy our parks and playgrounds, running around on our sporting fields, and take pride in the appearance of our footpaths,” Mayor Harding said.

“Ipswich has experienced significant rain in the past 12 months, on top of the staffing impacts caused by COVID-19, which has put our real dampener on council’s ability to meet the community’s demands for mowing and park maintenance.

“This budget will see council take a proactive approach to addressing these challenges with an additional $1.7 million to increase our in-house mowing team and ensure we’re delivering the best possible service for our residents.”

This commitment follows the launch of council’s interactive mowing map to give residents greater access to council services and an additional $550,000 committed in the 2021-2022 Budget after unprecedented wet weather saw grass grow quickly.

“We do not want residents to continue to experience the frustration of their parks, sporting fields, reserves and kerbsides not being mowed regularly,” Mayor Harding said.

“Contractors will still play an important role in council’s city maintenance strategy and assist us in meeting our growing demand for services.

“However, some of our service providers have been unable to provide adequate resources to cope with current challenges and have been unable to deliver key frontline services like mowing and weed control to the standard required.

“COVID-19 combined with the extensive wet season and two flood events in recent months has seen incredible pressure on our internal crews to pick up additional workloads across the city.

“Therefore, council has identified an issue and is taking a proactive approach in increasing our own resources and to reset the ratio of in-house service delivery versus contractors.

“Our aim is to be better able to meet our on-time service delivery goals and deliver services within budget and most importantly, meet the expectations of our residents.

“It is our intention to hire an additional 21 staff over the next few months, gearing up to be fully resourced for the next growing season which usually kicks off around September.

“This is a great opportunity for local people to work in the city they live in and make a career out of maintaining Ipswich.”

Council has previously introduced a “flying squad” to improve mowing services, which was used to target areas in parks and reserves where grass grows quickly and increased the mowing schedule from every nine weeks to every six weeks.

For more information about Ipswich City Council’s 2022-2023 Budget, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/budget