Has Ken Arthy been the victim of a prankster?
He says he hopes not, he hopes it’s not someone’s idea of giving him the ‘finger’ because they were disgruntled by his request.
The retiree lives in George Street, Kalbar, in a home he built on land he and his wife purchased around 2005.
“It was a vacant block then and we’d planned to build a home and eventually retire out here,” Ken says.
“But my wife died in 2006. A couple years later I decided to move to Kalbar permanently.”
Ken was proud of his home and yard and every time he mowed, he would also give the road and footpath verge a ‘clean cut’.
“I was happy to do it until I found out that if my mower threw up a stone and knocked someone’s eye out, I would not be covered by insurance as I wasn’t mowing on my land. It was Council’s land.”
And so he stopped mowing outside his front fence.
“Council or Council contractors would mow it on a fairly regular basis once I stopped mowing it,” Ken adds. “But during the drought they stopped mowing it. I guess they didn’t want to throw up any sparks that might start a fire.”
However, after the district received rain, the mowing didn’t restart when the grass began to grow again.
“It’s now about three or four foot high in front of my place. When I was mowing my yard last week I nervously cut the grass just as far as the footpath, but that’s it.”
Ken believes the discipline of stopping himself mowing beyond his yard is justified.
“When I first stopped mowing on Council land I contacted Suncorp - the company which holds my insurance. I asked the lady at the end of the line if she could find out how much extra my policy would cost if I could be covered for mowing the road verge.
“She said she’d find out and when she rang me back she told me that I couldn’t be insured for mowing that area.
“I’m not prepared to risk everything I’ve worked for all my life, so I stopped.”
When the grass strip grew so high and wasn’t attended to, Ken tried to be patient as he knew there was high grass everywhere that needed to be attended to. Finally, Ken phoned Council and asked when it was likely to be mowed?
“I was told that I was in the system.”
Ken says he wasn’t too confident of the outcome of ‘being in the system’ while the grass continued to grow ever higher.
“So I phoned my Councillor, Duncan McInnes. I got a really good reception from Duncan and he said he’d get on to it.”
The outcome was not quite what he had hoped it would be.
“I came home a couple of days later and found that some ‘Smart Alec’ had just mown a one metre strip along the footpath and left the rest of the high grass.
“I’m not sure who did it but I’d hope it wasn’t some contractor who was upset by me asking that it be done.”