Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3743 ..
should not be left to angry residents to get out there with their lawnmowers and whipper snippers to do the job that this government cannot do. With the increase in rates that Yerrabi residents pay—in fact, all residents of the ACT—it is expected that there will be appropriate community services to match.
With the Canberra pollen count staying stagnant at “extreme”, let us visit the health implications that the overgrown grass has for our residents. Having just come out of lockdown, Canberrans were excited to finally get out and about again—out in the community and enjoying the weather. Hayfever symptoms are much like those of COVID—runny nose, sneezing, coughing and breathing difficulties. These are all symptoms for which people are told to immediately get a COVID test. We now have community members not only potentially getting unnecessary COVID tests, but also still not wanting to leave their homes due to the pollen count. Those who suffer from asthma, and who already have breathing difficulties, now have their symptoms made worse by the extreme pollen count.
Ms Lawder’s motion calls on the ACT Labor government to get back to the basics and actually care about the condition of our streets again. They had the whole winter and lockdown period to prepare for this spring season by employing more staff, conducting maintenance of their mowers and pre-empting the wet weather. It has been weeks, yet nothing has really changed for the residents of Yerrabi. After being in government for 20 years, you would think they would have the basics right by now; obviously not.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.23): I will speak to the amendment and close the debate. I must say that Mr Steel nearly had me there. I heard his impassioned speech, and I thought: “Maybe, with all those letters to the media, all those people are wrong. Maybe Mr Steel is right, and everything is hunky-dory. Maybe all those letters are wrong.” Are all of those people that approached us at our mobile offices—mine, Mr Deputy Speaker’s, Mr Milligan’s and Mr Cain’s—wrong as well? Is Mr Steel right? If you listened to Mr Steel, you would think that every grassed area in Canberra looks like a bowling green—they are just pristine!
All of the community councils must be getting it wrong, too, Mr Deputy Speaker, if you listened to Mr Steel. All of the people that raised their concerns at community council meetings, all of the people that have contacted my office, your office and Mr Milligan’s office, are wrong; it all looks like a bowling green.
He nearly had me. I thought, “No, he must be right.” Then Mr Braddock stood up and, in a spectacular own goal, made the point—and I will paraphrase him, “My inbox is full of concerns about mowing.” He said that; then he doubled down on that. He said, “I’m sure Mr Steel’s inbox is even more full of concerns about mowing.” I looked over at Mr Steel and he looked over at me. You could see his head sink because his case had just been blown out of the water by Mr Braddock.
Mr Steel was trying to say, “Everything’s fine. We’ve got this in hand. It’s all sweet. It all looks like a lovely bowling green out there.” Mr Braddock came barging in and said, “No, my inbox is full of problems. I’m sure Mr Steel’s inbox is full of problems.” Thanks, Mr Braddock! I appreciate that you steered me back to the right