Brian Hall is not happy about the Richmond River Council not cleaning up the drain in front of his house or taking care of the park next to his house.
Brian Hall is not happy about the Richmond River Council not cleaning up the drain in front of his house or taking care of the park next to his house. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Drained from park upkeep

FOR nearly two years, Brian Hall has been maintaining the park on the corner of Little Pitt St and the Pacific Hwy at Broadwater because he claims Richmond Valley Council has not.

And now he's fed up.

Mr Hall said he cleaned up rubbish in the park, controlled vegetation and unblocked surrounding gutters once a week.

"Every time (the council) mows it, the grass leaves get stuck in the drain," Mr Hall told The Northern Star. "And people chuck their rubbish out of cars as they drive past, beer cans and McDonalds wrappers, and it just clogs them up."

Mr Hall said the blocked gutters have caused the park and residents' front yards to flood.

He wanted the council to maintain the park to a higher standard so it did not happen again.

Richmond Valley Council manager of civil operations Paul Radnidge agreed that the blocked gutters could lead to flooding. However, he said the park was maintained "at a service level".

"Staff are allocated two hours to mow that park," he said. "It gets mowed once a month between May and November and once a fortnight from summer to May. Whipper-snipping is done every second trip back to the park."

According to Mr Hall, the council has "never" whipper-snipped near the gutters and he has taken it upon himself to do it on several occasions.

Mr Hall even takes the green waste from the park to the tip because local residents do not have green waste bins.

Mr Radnidge said residents only have "general disposal bins because of the cost of special pick up bins".

A street-sweeper cleaned the gutters around the park on the rare occasion.

"We only have one street-sweeper for the whole Richmond Valley area," Mr Radnidge said. "(Council workers) use their discretion.

"We just don't have the resources to keep the park maintained at the level we'd like it to be kept."

The park is located on the main highway and many people use it as a stop-off point on their journeys, Mr Hall said.

"They have a cup of tea and let their kids run around," he said. "It should look nice."

Mr Hall has asked the council to deliver two truck loads of mulch to the park so he can personally distribute it and make the park look tidy.

However, Mr Radnidge said both parties would have to "enter into a volunteer agreement due to insurance and worker compensation issues" for that to happen.

"He could certainly contact us to discuss it," Mr Radnidge said.

Mr Hall has contacted the council four times about the park and said the council has not informed him of the voluntary agreements.



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