Turf trial spells greener future for South East Queensland parks

17 / May / 2013 | News

The hot, dry weather often experienced in the great South East may no longer pose a threat to Council green spaces, with a new drought resistant grass currently being trialled at South Bank Parklands.

The trial has been funded by Council of Mayors (SEQ) together with the Queensland Government and Jimboomba Turf.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Councillor Graham Quirk said although drought periods were not on the immediate radar for Queensland it was vital to be prepared for unpredictable weather patterns.

“Many Queenslanders would have no trouble remembering the long drought that nearly brought the state to its knees between 2001 and 2007,” Cr Quirk said

“This drought was the most severe and longest in our history – dams were empty, restrictions were enforced, and grass was left to die as every drop of water was preserved.

“Many public areas suffered during the six year drought and it was an expensive exercise for Councils and the State Government to restore and replace grass, gardens and grounds.

“The recent wet weather events that lashed Queensland have resulted in a very different picture today but now is the time to ensure we are prepared when the dry periods come around again.’

The drought resistant grass, called Sciencia EcoTurf, is the result of a four-year project led by the University of Queensland and funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Cr Quirk said the breakthrough development would save local Councils across South East Queensland valuable time and money.

“Drought resistant grasses are shorter than common commercial varieties and they grow more slowly so they don’t need to be mowed as often,” he said.

“These new grass types also recover more quickly from stress caused by excessive wear or disease making them ideal for high-traffic public areas such as parks, sporting grounds, grassed roadsides and roundabouts.”

The trial at South Bank Parklands will be reviewed over the coming months to see how the turf survives in a variety of settings including high traffic areas of the cultural forecourt.