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Completed project

Economic, environmental, social and health impacts and benefits of the turfgrass and lawncare industries in Australia (TU17006)

Key research provider: Balmoral Group Australia
Publication date: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

What’s it all about?

Conducted during 2019, this project has delivered a picture of the direct and indirect benefits that flow from the production from turf, including from economic, environmental and human health and wellbeing perspectives. By consolidating current research, the turf industry is now equipped to better understand the wider benefits of the products they produce. The available information can also be used to inform key messaging around the positive impacts and opportunities around turf, for industry to use in conversations with the community.

The results have been incorporated into an interactive online database which can be accessed through a secure website. Users can define the value of turf down to an individual suburb or aggregate data for their local area or city, to assist with communicating the benefits for various target audiences. Login details to access the site can be obtained from Hort Innvoation here.

The results highlight the benefits of using turf instead of alternative ground covers. This information can be used by the industry to demonstrate the direct and indirect benefits from increased areas planted to turf by homeowners and developers, local and regional governments, and managers of urban infrastructure.

The report highlighted five areas in which the turf industry adds value to the Australian community. 

  1. Reduced maintenance costs for well-managed turf compared to pavement and synthetic surfaces
  2. Reduced greenhouse gas levels from turf absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Turf plays a key role in managing greenhouse gas levels, with this value estimated to be worth $3/ha/year.
  3. Reduced costs for home cooling. Irrigated turf lowers suburban air temperatures and enables reduced spending on home cooling.
  4. Increased house rental values. Houses with lawn attract a rental premium, indicative of the range of mental, physical and social benefits valued by tenants.
  5. Increased willingness to pay for turfed public areas. This is the additional value placed on access to turfed public parks and sports fields in local communities.

The dollar value of turf for each of Australia’s major capital cities can now be calculated. For example, in Melbourne the five factors combine to add $55.23/m2 of turf, with the total benefit to the city, including home lawn, median strips, parks, roadside and sports fields, being worth $6.02 billion per year. 

ACT NOW

Acecss the project’s final report into the economic, social, and environmental benefits of turfgrass and lawncare industries.

See fact sheet on turf and lawn benefits

Access the interactive online database where you can calculate the value of turf down to an individual suburb or aggregate data for their local area or city.

 

Related levy funds
Details

ISBN:
978 0 7341 4563 5

Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Turf Fund using the turf R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government

Copyright:
Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2020. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).