Graf­fiti drives away park users

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Leti­tia Bus­niak

For years Ma­homets Flats grand­par­ents Joe and Kath­leen Sloot­mans played with their chil­dren at Glass Cres­cent Park, but in re­cent times they’ve had to seek out al­ter­na­tives for their 16-month-old grand­daugh­ter Bailee.

The park is mainly used by the fam­i­lies in­side the small cul-de­sac, but the grassed area, small play equip­ment and bench has be­come such an eye­sore the grand­par­ents, who live op­po­site, have now be­gun avoid­ing the park.

Mrs Sloot­mans said al­though the graf­fiti wasn’t pleas­ant to look at, she be­came more frus­trated as the spray paint and mark­ers used to graf­fiti con­stantly rubbed off on to her grand­daugh­ter’s clothes and skin when she used the play­ground.

“We live just op­po­site to the park, so it would be so easy to wan­der across the road and use the play equip­ment but ev­ery time we do she gets cov­ered in the hor­ri­ble stuff used to graf­fiti,” she said.

“It’s all quite frus­trat­ing be­cause it used to be such a beau­ti­ful lit­tle area, but now even the grass is not very well main­tained.

“It’s cov­ered in prick­les and is of­ten quite over­grown. Back in the day our own kids used to play with the footy bare­foot but now it’s just un­safe be­cause we don’t know what’s ly­ing around.”

The City of Greater Geraldton also ex­pressed frus­tra­tion af­ter view­ing pho­tos of the graf­fiti in the area.

City chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Diehm said he was ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated by the van­dal­ism, but plans were in place to tidy up the area.

“Bat­tling graf­fiti on play­grounds and other City as­sets is on­go­ing and ex­pen­sive and we share the com­mu­nity’s frus­tra­tion,” he said.

“This par­tic­u­lar play­ground was in­stalled eight years ago and wasn’t part of the City’s re­cent re­place­ment of six play­grounds at lo­cal parks.

“But the City has just com­pleted a com­pre­hen­sive ex­ter­nal safety in­spec­tion of all of its play­ground equip­ment and the re­moval of the graf­fiti at this lo­ca­tion is sched­uled to oc­cur prior to June 30.”

City staff mow the grassed area of the park on a two-to-three week cy­cle, but due to a sched­ul­ing er­ror Glass Cres­cent Park missed one of its mow­ing cy­cles.

Grand­mother Kath­leen Sloot­mans with grand­daugh­ter Bailee, 16 months, is hor­ri­fied by the stan­dard of the park.

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