Thursday, February 8, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

It’s Only Grass

Amidst the ongoing discourse surrounding the maintenance of our community's green spaces, Councillor Martin Bella's recent Facebook post struck a resounding chord. I don’t always see eye-to-eye with Marty on everything, but his heartfelt message, directed towards the resilient members of our council's outdoor crew, echoed how I felt about the online (and in-person) abuse these workers have been copping.

Marty speaks directly to the struggles faced by these workers, offering a glimpse into the harsh realities they confront daily.

“I know how you are struggling to keep up, I know you are doing your best in bloody atrocious conditions, “I know that the constant attacks in the media must be demoralising.”

"I know your loyalty in sticking it out and not leaving for higher paying jobs with air-conditioning," he adds,

“Keep doing your best like the champions you are. Stay strong and take pride in what you do. I have your backs.”

Marty’s post struck a chord because it reminded me of my own father—a hardworking individual who, like the lawnmower men and women, toiled tirelessly to provide for his family. After spending more than 25 years in the RNZAF as an aircraft technician, my father found himself facing a challenging job market. Undeterred, he took on the role of a street cleaner for the local council in Marlborough. Despite his expertise, he embraced the job with humility, recognising the importance of providing for his family, despite taunts he would receive while working.

Little did those people know he was also one of only a few people in the country who could fix specialty aircraft like a Skyhawk. Yet they only saw the ‘town garbo’.

This story serves as a poignant reminder of the humanity behind every job, urging us to extend empathy and understanding to those labouring behind the scenes. These men and women are doing the best they can to provide for their families.

After all, it’s only grass.

Photo source: Martin Bella (Facebook)

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