WA turf removal advocacy short sighted

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Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2017

The Western Australian Government’s advocacy for home owners to pull up natural turf lawns is a bad idea that will have devastating effects on our urban areas, according to Turf Australia.

The huge number and wide-ranging benefits natural turf can offer an urban area overwhelmingly outweigh the advocating of removing lawn from backyards.

“Removing lawns is a knee jerk reaction that will not fix this problem – turf has far too many long-term benefits to the entire urban community,” Turf Australia’s Ross Boyle said.

“There are huge benefits to having turf, which is a natural product, in urban areas – it absorbs carbon, absorbs noise, absorbs heat, absorbs dust. It produces oxygen and improves water quality … you are potentially losing all these benefits when removing lawn.

“Lawn areas cool everything around it – it is one of the greatest defences in the urban heat island issue cities are faced with … lawns are cooler in the peak of summer by between 10 and 40 degrees compared to other surfaces like concrete and bare ground,” Mr Boyle said.

“There are also some very real social wellbeing and mental health benefits to communities of lawn – people get out and play on lawn, relax in parks on the lawn – you can’t do that on hard surfaces.”

Mr Boyle also said new lawn varieties did not use as much water as many people thought, and, with the addition of soil amendments and watering at optimal times – like overnight – the humble back yard can be very water efficient.

Turf Australia also urged the Western Australian Government to look closely at what it was advocating to replace natural turf with.

“Turf is a natural product, and replacing it with a hard surface or synthetic product costs the community many ways like increased energy usage trying to cool urban areas and the environmental cost of removing a natural air and water filtration system that is lawn.”