SAFETY CONCERN: Erin Toth regularly takes her children Nadia, Silas and Layla to Grahame Stewart Park at Currimundi. Photo: Lacee Froeschl
SAFETY CONCERN: Erin Toth regularly takes her children Nadia, Silas and Layla to Grahame Stewart Park at Currimundi. Photo: Lacee Froeschl

'Absolutely appalled': Parents' fears as more syringes found

PARENTS have raised grave concerns about their children's safety in parks across the Coast after more uncapped syringes were found within the past week.

It appears drug users are increasingly "shooting up" in public parks and tossing the needles in the sand at busy parks and on waterfronts around Currimundi.

READ: Family's sinister find in sand at children's playground

Mother-of-five Erin Toth said the discovery of a needle by a young family at Grahame Stewart Park last week prompted her to speak out about her fears that the playground had become a danger hotspot for children.

"I was particularly rattled to discover the risk to children's safety, because not only do we frequent this park with our three youngest children at least once a week, we had allowed our two-year-old son to wander and play in this area while supervising from across the park," she said.

HORRIFYING: A young family have made a horror discovery at a Coast playground this morning with two used syringes exposed in the sand metres from where they'd been playing. Picture: Kiera Thorpe
HORRIFYING: A young family have made a horror discovery at a Coast playground this morning with two used syringes exposed in the sand metres from where they'd been playing. Picture: Kiera Thorpe

Since then, about three more cases have been reported to council in the same playground, at Currimundi Lake and Canavan Gracie Recreational Park in Bellvista.

Mrs Toth said she'd "had enough" and called for council to remove the sand and replace it with rubber matting.

"While the sand screening - performed after syringes are found - and park cleans may make council feel like they're doing something, it seems as though it's only a matter of time before something tragic happens," she said.

Before the most recent reports, Division 3 Cr Peter Cox said while this was something to consider, the works would be "very timely and costly".

"It's hard to look at these things in isolation because you need to take into consideration how often it happens," he said.

"Then you have to look at the financial implications that replacing sand with rubber is going to have."

But since the issue appears to have worsened, Cr Cox endeavoured to do something about it.

"I'm absolutely appalled at the behaviour of some people in our community that think it's OK to discard needles in children's play areas," he said.

"Clearly there appears to have been a spike in these incidents in the past week which is extremely disturbing."

Cr Cox said the latest incident prompted him to request the issue be escalated to senior levels within Queensland Police Service and made an urgent agenda item at the joint council/QPS meeting on August 22.

"This is a matter involving illegal and anti-social behaviour, so I remain hopeful that an increased presence through police patrol surveillance will deter this activity from occurring," he added.

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Cr Cox said as a standard procedure in cases of needles, sharps and glass in softfall, council had engaged a sand sieve contractor to conduct a sand clean with a specialised machine.

"Council acts promptly when hazards are reported but we need help from our community," he said.

Cr Cox advised the public to contact council's customer contact centre on 5475 7272 immediately when they see something that could cause harm in a park, on the beach or other public land.

"That should be the first port of call … so we can do a risk assessment, barricade it off and do what we need to do, because children's safety is paramount to any of our playgrounds," Cr Cox said. "Let's work together to keep our public places safe for everyone to enjoy."


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