Bill Holmes, of Grafton, walks through the long grass of North Park.
Bill Holmes, of Grafton, walks through the long grass of North Park. Adam Hourigan

Storm clean-up delays mow

GRAFTON resident Bill Holmes will have to wait a few more weeks before Clarence Valley Council can restore North Park to a usable condition.

Mr Holmes has been worried the park, in North Street in the Grafton suburb of Westlawn, will become a haven for snakes and ticks as the grass grows to more than knee height.

And he is even more worried about some of the human debris, mainly used syringes and broken glass, which lies concealed beneath the tangle of paspalum and kikuyu grasses that cover the park.

However, the Clarence Valley Council’s outdoor staff have more pressing problems.

Council’s open spaces operations coordinator technical George Nowak said it would be at least two weeks before outdoor staff complete the clean-up after the storms that recently hit the area.

“I went for a drive around the area today and I saw many trees in public places that still pose a threat,” he said.

“We’re stretched resource-wise and the mowing crews have fallen well behind their normal schedule.

“I expect it will be at least a week or two before the crews get back to their normal routine.”

But even this may not be good enough for Mr Holmes, who believes residents near the park are being ignored.

“You wouldn’t know what’s in there – snakes ready to bite you. Or ticks,” he said.

“Last week there was a red-belly black snake dead on the road over there. It was two and a half feet long.”

He said local children couldn’t use the park and often climbed into school grounds to find a safe area to play.

Mr Nowak said public safety considerations were paramount and at the moment the priority was given to the clean-up after the storms.

He said the park also has to compete with sporting fields which have weekly needs.

“North Park is used during winter for soccer and the Ghosts junior rugby league,” Mr Nowak said.

“But it is not used now on a regular basis.”



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