Neighbours clash over unapproved community garden: 'Just disgusting'

Police were called after a woman clashed with the creators of the garden who filmed the heated altercation.

A video has emerged of a woman trying to "destroy" a community garden built without council permission in a Brisbane public park.

A local at St Lucia Playground Park filmed the woman named Robin digging through the garden, who protested it was created "in the middle of the local kids' cricket pitch".

As more people, believed to be from the grassroots collective who built the garden, Growing Forward, confront her, things get heated.

A photo of two women confronting the woman who was 'destroying' the garden. Another photo of the woman seen to be throwing out cardboard from the garden in Brisbane, Queensland.
A woman was recorded 'destroying' a community garden built in Brisbane by grassroots collective Growing Forward at a public park. Source: Reddit/Park-Alert

Robin, who says she runs the local Neighbourhood Watch group, is heard in the video raising her voice at people who are standing in front of the plants for not "giving her space". One person supporting her threatens to call the police.

"This kind of entitlement is just disgusting. You’re an aggressive elder person," one woman shouts at Robin, who is throwing cardboard and soil out of the garden.

Brisbane Council intervenes in dispute over 'community garden'

On Friday, Councillor James Mackay revealed the garden was never approved by Brisbane City Council in the first place, calling the act "really disappointing".

"Today nine people turned up at St Lucia Playground Park and dug a garden in the middle of the park. This was not council endorsed. In fact, this group went ahead and dug the garden without even alerting Council, let alone getting it approved," he said on Facebook.

A photo of police coming to the scene of the public park where a garden was built without Brisbane City Council's permission.
Police were called to the scene on Friday when reports of an unapproved park being created were made. Source: 9 News

"While I applaud their energy, I really wish they had called me first. We could’ve used their energy to re-establish the garden beside meals on wheels, just 500m away.

"Instead, without community consultation, Council permits or safety in mind (they’ve got exposed star picket ends etc) they’ve just gone ahead. What a terrible waste of resources.

Brisbane City Council have confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the garden has since been removed on Tuesday morning.

Why did Growing Forward want a garden there?

According to the collective, they organised the unapproved garden to grow free food for the community and were frustrated that after four days and $2000 it was "bulldozed".

"It was a place where people could self-organise to grow their own food collectively for free, and perhaps start to think about how we can do other things collectively too, without asking the government to do it for us," the Facebook post read on Tuesday.

"We need to get organised as a class and look after our own interests... without trying to please those who would have us starve.

"We'll build more gardens where anyone can grow food if they need it, and we will not ask the state's permission."

'Both sides are wrong'

Many who viewed the video blasted the poster for "misrepresenting" the interaction and also took aim at the organisation for not seeking approval.

"At the very least you should acknowledge the contention of the issue instead of just trying to slander this lady online," one person commented.

"Community gardens are a great idea and I'm sure could be supported by council, but just digging up and fencing off some public space without approval is... dumb," another said.

However others also questioned the actions of the woman taking down the garden, saying "both sides are wrong".

"The way she handled the situation made it really hard to understand and sympathise with her perspective," one person said.

"Time would be better spent on the phone to her local councillor,' another said.

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