In a much publicised event, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Australia at the end of April as part of their Asia-Pacific tour. William and Catherine’s whirlwind trip included visits to Sydney, Alice Springs, Brisbane and Canberra.
Their trip to Canberra coincided with the ANZAC day long weekend and saw them tour several sites where Citywide is in charge of Open Space maintenance. These included the drive leading to the residence of the Governor General where the couple stayed during their trip, the Parliamentary Triangle, including major routes to the airport, and Anzac Parade leading up to the Australian War Memorial.
As well as regular maintenance, additional work was conducted to ensure the sites and key access routes were looking their best. The long drive to the Residence of the Governor General was mown and neatened, the garden beds at the back of the Portrait Gallery were re-mulched, and street sweeping and leaf blowing were conducted every day in the three days leading up to the Royal visit, as well as on the morning of the tour. This was on top of the extra mowing and edging that Citywide conducted on main roads.
With road blocks and closures in place by 10:30am on the days William and Catherine made an appearance, the team worked around the clock to make sure all street sweeping and leaf blowing was finalised well before access was limited. A final inspection of the Portrait Gallery surrounds also included weeding areas managed by others within the Citywide contract area to ensure that there was nothing to detract from the hard work put in by Citywide staff.
Additionally, Operations Manager Rachael Dawes and her team undertook a number of variance works and assisted in areas that are not under Citywide management to ensure high standards were maintained. As well as conducting dryland mowing at Government House, the team completely made over the memorials at the Australian War Memorial, fertilizing, raking and mulching the treed areas along the length of Anzac Parade. Citywide also replaced the hebes in the centre of Anzac Parade that had died over summer in the extreme heat. A plant native to New Zealand, the particular species of hebe selected for this location is not readily available in nurseries in Australia and was grown specifically for the strip at the memorial. While the nursery that grew the plant on a contract commission for the National Capital Authority had some available, Rachael had to undertake considerable research to source the remaining plants from local nurseries to ensure there were no gaps in the hedge for ANZAC day.
Citywide’s hard work did not go unnoticed however, with Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority, Malcolm Snow, full of praise about the appearance of the estate. “The high standard of public space presentations was I’m sure, obvious to the many people who attended the high-profile events” wrote Malcolm.
Watch a video of the National Capital Authority contract, or speak to our team today about our open space services in Victoria, Australia Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland.