Overgrown park grass ‘infested’

Back at work: Penrith Council staff were mowing the overgrown park in St Clair when the Star visited last Thursday. Picture: Gary WarrickTHIS St Clair park is back in pristine condition, much to the relief of neighbouring residents.

Mohammed Yakub contacted the Star last week about the overgrown state of the park next to his home in Chatres Street.

“The grass is 1.5 metres high and is infested with rats and cockroaches,” he said.

“I haven’t seen the council staff here in three months.

“It makes me uncomfortable and embarrassed when people come to visit.

“It’s also a health hazard and a fire risk.

“People cross through the park to get to the shops and nearby schools.”

When Mr Yakub recently contacted Penrith Council about the park, the response was that playgrounds had more priority than pockets of open space.

“I don’t think the priority should be at the expense of people who live near parks,” he said.

“I don’t think the council staff are looking after the area very well.

“I work in Penrith and I don’t see any overgrown parks like this.”

He called on the council to implement a proper maintenance schedule to be strictly followed.

A council spokesman said the park was last cut in December before it was mown last week.

“A three- to four-week schedule is applied to all similar parks across the city,” he said.

“This park, like others across the city at the moment, had long grass due to a combination of optimal grass growing conditions [wet weather followed by sunshine].

“Staff have been working very hard the past few weeks and weekends to address the stronger than normal grass growth.

“Council maintains more than 1100 sites across the city.

“Service standards are set based on facility type and level of use to make best use of resources and ratepayers’ money.”

“As an example, the cricket field at Cook Park, St Marys, is mowed weekly in summer, while the detention basins in the same area are mowed every four weeks.”

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