When I was a teenager the local lawn and landscapers would hire a couple of us during maintenance of the lawns, tennis courts, pools and gardens of the mansions dotting the map of “The Hills’ area north west of Sydney. Over time they taught the few of us who seemed interested how to care for gardens and lawns in a way that people who were spending a lot of money would expect.
Eventually they just dropped a couple of us at one of the big houses with the equipment and we did our thing.
In a way it is unfortunate to know how to care for lawns and gardens while living in a place like the Melissa Close corporate apartments. The contractors who care for this place appear to offer the most haphazard and unprofessional service I have ever seen. Last time they were here it took four days of repeated visits and many hours of machine noise to cut a simple pattern of lawns. That would be fine if they knew how to care for lawns but for years they hacked the grass down to almost bare ground and kept it dead or dead appearing most of the time. They maintain the dirt pit directly opposite my front door but generally in the light of all the constant attention they have been getting from various offices they appear to have stopped the bare earth method of mowing After three years of it I cannot help but assume they will revert back as soon as anybody of office rank stops watching.
I will not see that. Apart from being shoddy the contractors here are vindictive and dishonest. A near accident where a contractor didn’t see me while maneuvering a ride on mower has become blown up into an event where my desperate attempt to fend off the big machine and its rider have been rewritten as an assault and I will soon be homeless. You can see also why I am not pulling any punches with this post. The contractors threatened to do this and have. They are well supported by Legal Aid and NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal who are protecting the political interest in making all signs of their abuse and years of threats disappear
The back end of the apartment complex which is where I live seems to have been given special treatment this time. One morning we awoke to the sound of a chain saw and people in hi-vis jackets chopped and hacked and ripped the gardens and trees along the fences and around the walkways. When I look at the calm gardens of the rest of the complex it seems we have had a little extra attention. The saw seems to have been made safe for the contractors with the removal of anything sharp. When they finally came to work behind my apartment I could see them standing in one place holding the blade near a thin branch and running the machine hard for almost a minute.
At the moment it appears that I am suggesting these guys made a special effort to negatively impact my life. It isnt just that. It is the surly self serving nature of people who are trusted to move among elderly and vulnerable people often fighting to extend the last days of their lives into something that is worth living through. As am I.
If your vision of the value of these contractors extends only as far as recent events as the legal fraternity seems intent on doing you
may miss the depth of abuse or shoddiness. The image of rubble around the drive lights is taken of a place that has been allowed to grow unchallenged for the entire period I have been here. Suddenly there is desire to appear as though some care has been taken but the outcome of their untalented hacking is that the residents live in a blighted landscape. The lawn at the back of the image is cared for by a resident who, like myself, understands that lawn care is an important part of having an identity as a person of intelligence and worth. The power of that is magnified many times when you have been imprisoned in one of the corporate housing poverty pits now serving to underpin the housing bubble.
As I say there is a history of low or no maintenance in my immediate vicinity. It would have appeared to the newcomer that until recently there had been no action on the gully behind this apartment as it was full of small branches and twigs. Those plant materials were a sign that the lawnmower contractors needed a place to dump a few items like that and took special care to carry them to my bit of gully.
One of my neighbors recently recognized that the gully was an eyesore and I wasnt well enough to fix it. She isn’t all that mobile
either but still carried every twig up to the front gate for the rubbish trucks and had the bushes looking as good as her own garden. Interesting that it was as she finished that the big campaign to turn it all to rubble was carried out by our nasty little contracting crew.
We are poor. In the new era where social housing was farmed out to corporations like MNI Electrospark and Spotless Corporation our human well being that we trusted to elected officials became corporate profit taking. Our value as humans dropped to that of the sheep on a transport to anywhere
It is worse even than that. These people I have been writing about. The lawyers as well as NCAT, Legal Aid, FaCS and the contractors are ravaging the life of a person who is desperately ill and has nothing of any value apart from a camera, a mobility scooter and some easels. No car, no home, no immediate family. Nothing! It is a man who spends every night gripped by pain and nightmares and fear.