Probing the polls: the right to vote and the responsibility to mow

Genevieve Jacobs 14 December 2021 55
Lawnmower by Lake Burley Griffin

Lawnmower by Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

While there were strong opinions on both sides, most Riotact readers don’t think 16 and 17-year-olds should have the right to vote.

The Greens have been campaigning for some time on the issue, arguing that engaged teenagers have as much right as anyone else in the community to have their say over our future.

We asked Should we give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote? A total of 786 people voted.

Your options to vote were: No, maturity varies and two years makes no real difference. This received 61 per cent of the total, or 725 votes. Alternatively, you could choose Yes, if you can work and pay taxes, you can vote. This received 39 per cent of the total, or 455 votes.

This week, we’re wondering whether you’re willing to take the mowing into your own hands in this wet, wet season where the grass is already towering over cars at some roundabouts and intersections.


READ ALSO: Is it time we took mowing into our own hands?


The ACT Government says there are some delays in the mowing program because of the exceptionally wet year and the soggy ground, but is it time we took matters into our own hands to keep the city both tidy and safe?

Whether a high-tech ride-on or not, several local heroes are getting out and about and mowing not only their grass but the community’s, too.

In the ACT, the only public land residents are expected to mow is their verge – the strip of land between the residential property boundary and the adjacent roadway. And while community support is appreciated, there’s also some caution about safety issues.

Commenters were divided about whether to hop in and lend a hand with their own mowers, whether the ACT Government was neglecting their responsibilities or whether they were simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of grass.

“Yep. Did it to our local park. Took a while but was concerned about snakes for the children and dogs that play there. Also, we picnic there too,” Erin Nugent said.

“I did it out of community spirit and not because of any ill feelings towards the mowing crew. I understand this is a particularly tricky season with rain and I understand the large machinery cannot go onto the grounds because a) they will destroy the ground b) wet grass doesn’t cut clean) c) it clogs up their mowers. I would encourage anyone who feels like they can get out with push mowers. Instead of complaining about it take pride in your community and do something about it.”

While there was understanding from some commenters about the sheer size of the task ahead of the ACT Government, others were more cynical. Bryan Doherty wrote: “Neighbours have been mowing areas before all the rain … any utilities that were sold off/contracted out will have problems … profit first …”

Our question this week is:

Would you mow public areas in your neighbourhood?

View Results

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55 Responses to Probing the polls: the right to vote and the responsibility to mow
R Parker R Parker 12:06 pm 26 Dec 21

Maybe it’s time to replace our nature strips (which are dominated by invasive grass species) with native grasslands filled with native flowers? It would be expensive at first but it could save us money in the long run… #biodiversity #climate #bushcapital

B Johnson B Johnson 6:53 pm 19 Dec 21

I usually mow the bus stops next door and across the street. No one else bothers, both stops are heavily used and the long grass is uncomfortable for people waiting for the bus.

Julian Hayes Julian Hayes 6:51 pm 19 Dec 21

Cop out trying to get the community to do something for free that people should be paid to do.

Paul Irving Paul Irving 4:45 pm 19 Dec 21

We do already. The community of Middleton Circuit in Gowrie has had go do this a number of times. We would do the finicky stuff around vegetation and structures, and let the big machines do the wide stuff. Keeps the snakes and fire risk down.

Gina Dow Gina Dow 3:57 pm 19 Dec 21

Didn’t a man who lived next to the Brickworks demand some equity in the brickworks block ages ago because he had been privately mowing a huge swathe of govt-owned paddock for decades?

Grahame Watson Grahame Watson 11:37 am 19 Dec 21

Maybe Barr should stand up to the Greens and stop implementing all their lefty utopian ideas and get back to providing the basic services that they should be providing.

Maya123 Maya123 10:59 am 19 Dec 21

I don’t own a lawn mower, having no grass at my place. So nothing to mow grass with. However, I am not worried by the long grass. It’s rather pretty actually, and fire at present isn’t a high risk.

Sick and tired of the whiners. Grow up; it’s been raining…a lot. That makes grass grow. It can’t be expected that the lawn mower people could keep up, with both the extra grass, or the reduced days they can mow due to the many more rainy days. Take a look outside your window at present. It’s raining. The lawn mower people will catch up, even if it’s not till winter, when grass slows its growth. Thank you lawn mower people, keep up your good work. Sorry for you; it must be overwhelming at present, but some of us appreciate your work and effort.

To the others; stop your boring whining! Do you really want to pay more rates, by buying more lawn mowers and employing more people? That is, if they can find those people.

Angela Davey Angela Davey 8:49 am 19 Dec 21

First world problem?

Gina Dow Gina Dow 10:29 pm 18 Dec 21

How about a discount on our rates in exchange?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 3:48 pm 19 Dec 21

    Gina Dow Many people could say the same thing about many things. For instance, normally I might only put my garbage bin out every few weeks. Should I get a discount in my rates?

    As for the grass, this year there is more than usual, so in effect you would need to pay more in rates; not less, to buy more mowers and employ more people to keep up to the fast growing grass.

Ollie Skylark Ollie Skylark 4:04 pm 17 Dec 21

No! It is the act gov responsibility. They should pull there finger out and get it done. It is embarrassing to be in the nations capital and loosk unkept farm land. if act gov can pay then national capital authority should. Either way fix it.

Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell 6:28 am 17 Dec 21

NO NO NO that what you pay rates for NO NO NO.

Flistee Emm Flistee Emm 9:46 pm 16 Dec 21

Sure. And then I’ll submit my time and expenses for a rate reduction. 👍🏼

Kaz Burton Kaz Burton 8:20 pm 16 Dec 21

I mow my park in Florey because it’s grows too fast!

Peter Anthony Richardson Peter Anthony Richardson 7:36 pm 16 Dec 21

Before the firers last year they had plenty of mowers and kept up to it the must have sold them off now can't keep up to it

Rowena Parkes Rowena Parkes 6:17 pm 16 Dec 21

The government can't keep up when it's not raining! Will they give a rates reduction to compensate those that do? Not likely

Brenda Rae Brenda Rae 12:02 pm 16 Dec 21

💯 sign me up

Julia Ross Julia Ross 10:22 am 16 Dec 21

Isn't that what being part of a community is,all about? Or have we all got so self centred that we can't or won't help out.

No Pickles No Pickles 10:10 am 16 Dec 21

Why not?

David Field David Field 9:03 am 16 Dec 21

I’m amazed it doesn’t rain over the border in Queanbeyan….

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 8:09 am 16 Dec 21

Let’s face it, this local council (the legislative assembly is a glorified council) has failed to provide basic services one would expect as part of rates. The state of the territory has gone downhill under Barr’s watch. Mowing, road maintenance which now resemble country roads (guess we are the bush capital) and the amount of rubbish littered around town.

    Warren Morris Warren Morris 8:17 am 16 Dec 21

    Richard Willcoxson it started under Stanhopes watch.

    Barr is just continuing his legacy….

    Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 8:17 am 16 Dec 21

    Warren Morris forgot about him

    Candace Driscoll Candace Driscoll 12:33 pm 16 Dec 21

    Richard Willcoxson and the amount of rabbits and foxes all over the place. I made a noise complaint about my neighbours dog in June and they got back to me last week and admitted they had done nothing.

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