Australians gather to roll down Parliament House lawns which may soon be out of bounds

Hundreds of people rolling down the Parliament House lawns in Canberra, Australia.
Hundreds of people rolling down the Parliament House lawns in Canberra, Australia.PHOTO: EPA

CANBERRA - Hundreds of Australians, dismayed by plans to build a security fence around the Parliament House in Canberra, gathered to roll down the lawns on Saturday (Dec 17).

Architect Lester Yao, who came up with the idea, originally meant it for family and friends, but had nearly 3,000 people register interest in the event after he posted it on Facebook.

About 700 people joined the hill tumble, according to the event's Facebook page.

Mr Yao explained on Facebook: "It's a story I hear often from people that live in Canberra or visit Canberra and the Parliament House. They walk up that beautiful green lawn and see the amazing view of Canberra, then they fall to their knees and roll down the hill.

"This simple fun action embodies a very simple yet powerful symbol of democracy. That the citizens can walk up and over their elected government.

"At least that's what I believe the Architect behind the design of the Parliament House intended."

The sloping lawns were designed to allow Australians to walk over the heads of their elected representatives.

The proposed fence is part of A$60-million (S$63.3-million) security measures to be put in place at Australia's seat of government, BBC reported.

Mr Yao told news.com.au that he was disappointed there was no public consultation, but the event was about fun and creating memories.

"Afterwards they can make up their own mind about what should be happening to it," he told the Australian media outlet.