The people who keep our parks clean and safe
  • Wednesday 02 January 2019
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It’s something many of us take for granted. You turn up to a park for a family get together and the barbecues and toilets are clean, the picnic shelters free of rubbish.

The people who work behind the scenes to make this happen – Sunshine Coast Council’s parks cleaners – take a lot of pride in keeping the areas clean and safe.

Tony Melmore, Jason Parker and Joe Lopez are three of those people. Spend 10 minutes with them, and it’s easy to see how much pride they have in their work.

Tony, a council parks cleaner for eight years, said it was satisfying to know residents and visitors enjoy the park facilities.

“People from around Australia tell us these are some of the best kept facilities they have seen,” Mr Melmore said.

Council staff look after more than 300 public barbecues, as well as 353 playgrounds and more than 1100 shelters.

Mr Parker said it was easy to see why the region’s parks were so popular.

“Being out at the beaches and rivers seeing interesting sights and meeting a lot of interesting people are some of the best parts of the job,” said Mr Parker.

“Our families come to these parks as well, so that’s another reason to do our best,” added Mr Lopez.

There are downsides to the job too.

“A lot of people are good with keeping things clean, but it’s also a weekly occurrence to have barbecue shelters a mess and some areas are always trashed on weekends with glass, rubbish and cigarette butts,” Mr Melmore said.

Despite daily cleaning rosters and all their efforts, council staff can’t be everywhere at every time of the day to keep our parks and foreshore areas clean.

We all have a responsibility to tidy up when we’re finished.

Fast facts – Sunshine Coast Council parks and open spaces

The Sunshine Coast local government area has:

  • 1,040 recreation parks and open spaces
  • 250 conservation parks encompassing 1,000,000 hectares of protected bushland
  • 45 kilometres of beaches and foreshore
  • 308 barbecues
  • 1106 shelters
  • 353 playgrounds
  • 27 skate parks
  • 12 dog off-leash parks
  • 68 basketball courts
  • 45 fitness areas in parks
  • 166 showers in parks and beaches.

*Image: L-R Joe Lopez, Tony Melmore, Jason Parker.