AN ELDERLY White Hills couple say the City of Greater Bendigo has increased the size of their nature strip and forced them to mow it, but has not provided any assistance.
Ivan and Heather Pope have lived at their Lyons Street home since 1965.
Mr Pope, 85, said a health issue left him unable to mow the lawns, which was knee-height in places.
“The thing that really upset us was the fact that we have paid rates since I came here in 1965 and I’ve maintained the nature strip,” he said.
“They did all these changes without any consultation with the residents and with us being on the corner it involved many more alterations to our property.
“At my age, having a disability and being a pensioner, to pay $60 to council to pay for their laws, is a bit much.
“It’s very frustrating.”
Mr Pope said the changes had been made in December and increased his nature strip by 50 per cent.
“I like to keep our property kept in a clean state,” he said.
"Incidentally, the soil that was brought in to seed the increased area was full of burrs, thistles, bindii, marshmallow and flatweed."
But City of Greater Bendigo manager community services Rod Flavell said the couple were on a waiting list for a Home and Community Care program assessment, which was provided to council by Bendigo Health.
“The assessment would determine their eligibility,” Mr Flavell said.
“The services are for the frail and aged people with disabilities and their carers.
“We really look out for the most vulnerable people in our community.
“Sometimes people may think the council's there to cut lawns as a general practice, but it really is aimed at the most vulnerable people.
“It depends on their means, whether they have any family and we take into account support and income.”
Mr Flavell said 850 Bendigo residents received home services, which covered the installation of hand rails and ramps, replacement of fire alarm batteries and monthly lawn mowing. He said residents had to maintain their lawns while awaiting assessments and said services focused on safety.