Guerillas demolished by council

By David Knox on February 19, 2009 / Filed Under News 16

roundaboutTEN’s Guerilla Gardeners went to air last night in which it beautified a barren parcel of land beside a Sydney railway station.

On the same day Sutherland Shire Council decided to rip up its unfinished mission at a rounabout in Jannali.

$2500 worth of plants and shrubs were ripped up as the council moved in.

The actions by the council have no doubt just given the show a priceless publicity push.

“What they did was beautiful and I would look at my windows most days at it,” said resident Belinda Rees. “We’ve only had a little over a week to enjoy it. It was the topic of conversation when they did it and there wasn’t a negative comment.

“Then, the council just comes in and rips it all up. That roundabout was an eyesore.”

A council statement last week said, “This roundabout is a complex and hazardous five-way intersection adjoining three high traffic roads and a popular service station.

“Any landscaping on this site requires careful selection of plants to ensure motorists’ visibility is not obstructed and proper traffic management during the works.

“The Guerrilla Gardeners crew failed to adequately do either.”

But creator and producer Nick Murray from Cordell Jigsaw told TV Tonight, ” I was amused by the Sutherland Shire Council’s response to our garden down there the week before last. Not only is what they say absolute rubbish, but they fail to admit how long they have left the site desolate.

“Many of the gardens we do are on abandoned blocks of public land that no one has touch for over a decade. They are covered with broken glass, weeds and used needles. The councils only complain when we install a garden and some art. Then they claim to have been just about to do something themselves! What rubbish.

“One council even claimed the work we did as their own.”

A TEN Spokesperson confirmed the unfinished roundabout episode would still go to air, hopefully incorporating this latest turn of events.

Source / photo: Daily Telegraph

16 Comments »

  1. Giani March 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm -

    I watched the show tonight,
    And am disgusted by councils actions,
    Clearly they did not act in the communities best interest,
    but were in a power play of control that has got to there head and
    are not interested in the community views.

    I can understand the issues of approval and application, But the job had been done, what would they achieve from pulling it out and
    replacing it with a pittaful mulch garden,

  2. Michael February 22, 2009 at 9:11 pm -

    As a resident of Oyster Bay (a suburb adjacent to Jannali) who drives through that roundabout on a daily basis I first pleasantly surprised and then saddened by the transformation from derelict to loved to what now is a rather ugly site.

    The argument of obstruction is a reasonable one if these types of plants will grow tall or wide. But I find that argument a little lame given that Miranda (another Sutherland Shire suburb) had a larger roundabout (removed in the last few years) covered in full grown trees that obscured any view.

  3. Adam February 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm -

    There is a roundabout near my place that has a big tree in the middle of it and yet these tiny plants are too dangerous?? I think someone just wanted to feel powerful.

  4. Heather February 20, 2009 at 11:19 am -

    You too can take plants from the Sutherland Council if you don’t like them ..or..like them and keep them for yourself.
    Sutherland Council are now famous Australia-Wide..we can all learn something from what they did..go out and jump on a pant..spray Round-up on a pesky tree..destroy some natural habitat and see just how much better you feel..just like Sutherland Council do I’m sure. Gold Star to Sutherland Council for keeping the Power..what next The world!

  5. Bernadette February 20, 2009 at 8:24 am -

    In a way I don’t blame them for dismantling the work on the roundabout. Because you just know that someone would have an accident and say it was because they couldn’t see properly and some slimey lawyer would be bang up for suing the Council. People do love to sue Councils. But surely the Council could have at least dug the plants up properly and used them elsewhere or donated them to a worthy cause.

  6. Peter February 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm -

    Welcome to the Sutherland Shire Council. Rednecks and control freaks. Oh, and incompetent. That roundabout has been rubbish for twenty years. I was saying to my wife last night, ‘If they try anything in Sutherland they’ll get cleared away.’

  7. timmy February 19, 2009 at 10:11 pm -

    @ Pete: if they were permitted to do what they do, there *wouldn’t* be a TV show… that’s the whole poiint: that’s why they are guerillas.

    And that’s what I like about the show, a bit of the subversive (even if they play it up way too much); no “deserving”, disease-of-the-week recipients, just doing it for for the general public, and a bit of a laugh. OK, and ratings. But entertaining all the same. No Jamie Durie or Scott Cam = bonus.

  8. Sean M February 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm -

    I don’t like them whinging about it.

    It is realistic for there to be some setbacks and rejections. They are meant to be subversive.

    Just because they are a tv show does not mean everyone should fall in love with what they do. And that they can charm their way out of every situation.

  9. Jake February 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm -

    I watched the show last night. It was okay, but cutting through that fence was a bit over the top, considering the entire length of space is unfenced on the road side.

  10. Zen Man February 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm -

    Some of them being environmentalists might have a hidden agenda to create hazards and make roads unsafe so leave roundabouts and median strips to the council so there is no conflict of interest. It’s better to ask council for permission, if they say no then it looks bad for them if you’re bringing your own plants and supplies and they don’t have a genuine reason why it can’t be done otherwise in a few cases there might be animosity from some councils. Also the guerilla gardeners don’t have a right to claim the work as their own otherwise it can be used for advertising or unfair commercial gain.

    If they’re going to create gardens on public land without permission, there is probably going to be conflict however I was very impressed by the garden they created on the show last night.

  11. Pete February 19, 2009 at 12:20 pm -

    For some reason, I like to think that the council hires the Guerilla Gardeners to do what they do. I mean, if they aren’t permitted to do what we see on TV, then there wouldn’t really be a TV show.

  12. Jerome February 19, 2009 at 10:28 am -

    well thats the councils loss, but the law is the law.

    but the part that is getting my attention is:

    “One council even claimed the work we did as their own.”
    that is just terrible, there is no excuse for that

  13. Craig February 19, 2009 at 10:28 am -

    I watched the end of the show, waiting for House and it was okay, better than other DIY type reality TV.

  14. Drogo February 19, 2009 at 9:47 am -

    The council is right about not having obscuring plants on a round about but from the photo it looks like some of the plants wouldn’t be a problem – yet they ripped out all of them. What a waste.

  15. Paull February 19, 2009 at 9:14 am -

    That is quite mean of the council. Whoever ordered that to be ripped out obviously is a pretty sad person.

  16. ryan February 19, 2009 at 5:37 am -

    this council needs to pull its head out of its ass and leave these people alone!! i watched this show last night and it was awesome! totally different trying to do it without being stopped. its a good thing they are doing, covering up all the crap holes councils just leave to infest with chemicals, needles, glass.

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