$250k call-out to bring meter maids back
A $250,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to get the Gold Coast meter maids back on the streets of the Glitter Strip.
A Gold Coast institution since 1965, the gold bikini-clad icons have been missing in action for several months - victims of funding problems and the COVID-19 pandemic.
But meter maids owner Roberta Aitchison has now launched an online fundraiser to try and get her shapely tourism ambassadors back on the beat.
"I created this fundraiser to get the Gold Coast Meter Maids back on our streets of the Gold Coast once this pandemic is over, to bring a little gold back into the Coast - the best welcoming arm to our tourists," Ms Aitchison, herself a former maid, says on her Facebook page.
The campaign, which has so far raised just over $1100 since being launched earlier this week, follows complaints from Ms Aitchison that the Gold Coast City Council has been trying to drive her out of business.
She was furious that the maids were snubbed for a role at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with Mayor Tom Tate suggesting the city was now too sophisticated.
Ms Aitchison said accused council officers of 'harassing' the maids on the street and threatening them with fines for illegal touting.
She even helped promote a 'meter maid-friendly' mayoral candidate, Brett Lambert, who stood unsuccessfully against Mr Tate at the March council election.
"Mayor Tom Tate tells me I cannot charge for a photo on the street anymore or sell our Meter Maid souvenirs on the street so I need to raise money to pay the girls to be out there, preferably 7 days a week entertaining the public and giving that quintessential photo to the tourists as a reminder of the place they just visited," Ms Aitchison posted on Facebook.
"Please help if you can as that would be amazing."
It's the latest bid to save the cash-strapped meter maids after ill-fated ventures including a meter maid bar in Surfers Paradise, a meter maid beach food delivery service and even a meter man concept, which saw buff male models strutting the streets in tight gold shorts.
Originally published as $250k call-out to bring meter maids back