Long grass a tough issue for councils to face

News that a family dog was killed following a snake bite in the backyard of a property in north Ararat shows the thick scrub and vegetation across the Grampians needs to be addressed.

Not only is the loss of a pet animal a tragedy, but there would be even graver consequences if it was a child who was bitten.

Yes, living in the Australian country means dealing regularly with snakes.

It is also true, that the level of vegetation is at an unusual high due to the heavy rainfall and flooding experienced across the district in September last year.

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There is a good chance the scrub will not reach similar levels in future summers, while the Country Fire Authority also says there is no fire risk posed by the overgrown grass.

But that is of little consolation now, with roadsides often covered in tall grass, and paths encroached upon around Ararat.

It is of little consolation to the family which lost a beloved pet.

Councils in the Grampians need to work with the state government to pin point who owns what land, who is responsible for maintaining it and who needs take action now in the worst affected areas.

More resources need to be put into action to complete slashing and mowing works along roadsides and in overgrown parks.

Beyond the danger of snakes there are other implications for the Grampians region.

Towns across the Northern Grampians Shire and Ararat Rural City rely on tourism as a major form of income.

They rely on well-kept and maintained parks and gardens to present an appealing sight to passing motorists.

When highways are surrounded by tall grass, or entries to town looking messy, it is to the detriment of tourism.

There is work that can be done by residents as well to help out and keep their towns tidy.

Councils have links on their websites, allowing ratepayers to lodge a request if they think works need to be done at parks, gardens, nature strips or bush land near their homes.

Some ratepayers even do their own mowing, taking the time clean up adjacent land that belongs to council, the state or is leased. Whatever the solution, councils cannot act if they are not kept informed of problems affecting residents.

Hopefully the death of more pets can be avoided with a bit more planning to reduce the scrub.

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