Vandals messing up region's parks spoil fun for children

Several parks in the Gladstone region have been closed due to vandalism.
Several parks in the Gladstone region have been closed due to vandalism. Christopher Chan

A STRING of vandal attacks on Gladstone parks has forced council to install surveillance, and made families find new places to play.

Gladstone Regional Council has installed two motion-activated devices in parks, after various issues were reported.

"Like every local government, we experience intermittent issues in parks," councillor and parks and recreation spokesman Graham McDonald said.

These include anti-social behaviour, drunkenness, vandalism and graffiti.

"These are not typical of our parks but they do occur from time to time," Cr McDonald said.

"Our current placement of monitoring devices is in direct response to customer requests for assistance."

Earlier this month, Kooyong Park, at 21 Picnic St, was completely closed due to vandalism - and council can't say when it will reopen, with replacement parts taking up to 12 weeks to arrive.

"We endeavour to only close off damaged sections if possible," Cr McDonald said.

The damage comes as GRC tries to step-up promotion of the region's green spaces, with the Year of the Park.

Mum finds dangerous problems in parks too often

A LOCAL mum, Melissa Honnery, loves heading to the park with her nine-month-old daughter Serenity.

They make the trip about three times a week.

"(Going to the park) gets them out of the house, gives them something to do," she said.

But too frequently, Melissa said, they find unsafe and dangerous problems.

So many teenagers go there at night, smash bottles.

She says she has to keep a watchful eye on the playgrounds, making sure there's no glass or rubbish for Serenity to pick up.

"In the sand, there's often dirt and sticks so if the kids are walking around they get jabbed," Melissa said.

Their favourite spot is the playground at the duck ponds on Glenlyon Rd, but Ms Honnery said she had seen people urinating on the slide.

"We can't really take our kids on that," she said.

"(It happens) in the afternoons and at night time. You drive past and see them."

She said Gladstone's worst park could be Kooyong Park on the corner of Dawson Hwy and Breslin St, which is a known spot for constant vandalism.

"So many teenagers go there at night, smash bottles," Melissa's friend Manon Fisher said.

Melissa would like to see GRC step up maintenance.

"I think we need more (parks) and we need to keep them up-to-date," Ms Honnery said.

"They're not looked after enough."

Melissa Honnery loves taking her daughter Serenity, nine months, to parks in Gladstone, but wishes there were more, that they were cleaner and less vandalised.
Melissa Honnery loves taking her daughter Serenity, nine months, to parks in Gladstone, but wishes there were more, that they were cleaner and less vandalised. Gabby Zussino

Topics:  gladstone kids gladstone regional council parks vandalism

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