There’s grass, grass, everywhere and not a mower in sight, at least according to the many Canberrans who detailed their own mowing woes after a recent story about the state of the grass in the ACT.
But while it’s no secret there has been an awful lot of rain this year, to which the ACT Government is attributing its current delays, there are many of you out there who said you simply took matters into your own hands.
Whether a high-tech ride-on or not, there are several local heroes getting out and about and mowing not only their grass but the community’s, too.
In Dunlop, you may have seen local resident Allan, who’s been spotted out and about mowing several streets to keep things looking tidy.
Others, such as Jon, are keen to take matters into their own hands and think a community-organised grass-roots (literally) mowing group would be a good idea.
Some turned to Facebook to offer their trusted tools, like Slade Minson, whose little mower ‘Rover’ may not be a fancy ride-on but proved it was still able to get the job done in the suburbs.
The little-mower-that-could was purchased for only $40 on Marketplace.
Initially, Slade posted on Facebook to – in his own words – “have a bit of a rant about the state of things like mowing and potholes”. But the response he got wasn’t entirely positive.
That’s because along with people agreeing with him, some Canberrans reminded him that he could get out and do something about it.
So, along came Rover.
While Slade said he won’t be taking over the mowing job entirely, he did a couple of patches around his house, and ended up helping out a household in his neighbourhood where none of the residents was physically able to tackle their own mowing in the back garden.
“I’ve been wanting to get out and do a bit more in the community for a while now,” Slade said. “This seemed like a good way to do it.”
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.
An ACT Government spokesperson said while community support in mowing public areas other than verges is appreciated, it is not expected.
“Safety is important and accidents can occur. We are required to do a thorough assessment of the proposed site ahead of any works,” the spokesperson said.
“The ACT Government’s mowers are equipped with guards, cut-off switches and staff are trained to deal with various safety scenarios.”
According to the ACT Government, staying on top of the mowing remains one of their top priorities.
The government also regularly updates its mowing map to show where crews have recently mowed and where they are planning to mow in the coming weeks.
The government spokesperson said all suburban areas have been cut at least once this season. Most areas are now receiving a second cut, and “crews are working hard to keep up with rapid growth as we move into summer”.
But, as Minister for City Services Chris Steel put it, “even with the best-laid plans, you can’t mow a lawn when it’s wet”, he said.
“It damages the equipment and it’s a safety issue.”
The Opposition has refuted these claims. They say what’s needed is more resourcing, surge funding and a better long-term strategy to get the mowing done.
Canberra Liberals MLA Jeremy Hanson said Canberrans are understandably frustrated with a government that’s “lost touch with the ordinary Canberran” and simply “got its priorities wrong”.
Is there a local mowing hero keeping on top of the grass in your neighbourhood? Contact us with your stories and photos.