Grass roots protest gains support
KEITH Kelley has steadfastly refused to mow his footpath for the past six weeks in a defiant gesture to support Allen “Stinger” Rea.
Mr Kelly, who lives in Munro Street, Kawana, says he won't cut the grass outside his property until the council drops its legal action against the Stanage grazier who is being prosecuted for repairing 14 kilometres of road.
But just as the grass beyond his boundary fence was getting seriously untidy, Rockhampton Regional Council sent a crew to slash it for him.
And he's now received a letter urging him to end his mowing ban.
The letter, from Kevin Quinn, operations manager of parks and recreation, says while there is no obligation on residents to mow footpaths, the council would be unable to cope if people followed his lead. Mr Kelley remains defiant.
He says that if the council is prepared to charge a resident for acting in the public interest he has no confidence that he won't be prosecuted because he has not been issued with any guidelines to safely and correctly mow the footpath.
“Kevin Quinn states the council has never taken legal action against a resident for mowing the footpath.
“This may be true. So I ask, had they previously taken action against a resident for grading a council road?
“At this stage I am not convinced that I can confidently mow the grass on the council-owned land at the front of my residence,” he said.
The Kawana businessman has been assured by council chief executive Evan Pardon that he stands no risk of prosecution if he cuts the grass outside his Munro St unit.
In the letter Mr Quinn says the council openly encourages people to look after these areas.
But until the legal action is resolved, the bill for mowing outside Mr Kelley's home will be picked up by ratepayers.
The case against Mr Rea, who is charged with three offences, has been adjourned but councillors have voted to press ahead with the prosecution.