Laura-Jane Brooks was appalled when she collected at least 60 thumb tacks from a Brightwater playground while her children were playing barefoot. Photo: Contributed
Laura-Jane Brooks was appalled when she collected at least 60 thumb tacks from a Brightwater playground while her children were playing barefoot. Photo: Contributed

‘Disgusting’: Pins in playground sparks outrage

CONCERNED parents are calling for more surveillance in a Brightwater park after dozens of pins were left scattered in the sand in a children's playground.

On Sunday morning, Laura-Jane Brooks took her children, aged three years and 18 months, to the playground at Brightwater Lakeside Park.

After the kids "ripped their shoes and socks off" and ran to play, Ms Brooks noticed dozens of small pins scattered in the sand.

"My instant reaction was to get the kids out of the playground," she said.

"Fortunately we got away without anyone getting pins in their feet. It was pretty lucky really, because the kids just run through there for a good hour or so usually without their shoes and socks on."

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Ms Brooks said it appeared the pins were left in the sand intentionally, and was angry that people would target children with dangerous objects.

"It's just disgusting that the target of the whole incident is children," she said.

"To think that they could be among pins and syringes and whatever else has been thrown in there, it's just awful."

Ms Brooks and other concerned residents are pushing for CCTV to be installed in the area to prevent an "epidemic" of youth crime.

Neighbourhood Watch area co-ordinator and Brightwater Community Association secretary Allan Rankin said he hoped something would be done to prevent incidents like this occurring in the future.

"There is an epidemic of youth crime in Queensland … and unfortunately we have a few of them living in Brightwater," Mr Rankin said.

Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien looking forward to his new role promoting the area.
Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien. Warren Lynam

Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien was "riled up" at the thought of "anti-social behaviour" putting children at risk.

"Brightwater is first and foremost a family area, and that needs to be protected. Families need to be protected and kids need to be protected, and that requires strong law and order," Mr O'Brien said.

Earlier this year, Mr O'Brien announced a $75,000 commitment to purchase and install permanent CCTV cameras at Brightwater Lakeside Park.

But Mr Rankin said it could be years before the cameras were delivered.

"A lot of questions to be asked before any kind of cameras can be delivered," Mr Rankin said. "Delivery of the cameras could be anything from 12 months to two years. It may never happen."

Mr Rankin said the community was "shocked and disgusted" at the discovery of pins in the playground, but assured the Daily that Sunshine Coast Council had acted quickly and made the area safe by Monday morning.

He said he was working with Councillor Christian Dickson to have the sand replaced with rubber matting.

"The long-term fix is to remove the sand and cover it with that rubber protection that other playgrounds have," Mr Rankin said.

"(Dangerous items in the sand) is a safety issue and if idiots are going to be throwing tacks in there, then it may bring forward that push to have the sand replaced."

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said officers responded immediately when the hazardous materials were found in the sand.

"Council officers inspected the playground and park area and removed a number of hazardous items including thumb tacks and broken glass. No syringes were found," the spokesman said.

"A sand sieve contractor was engaged to thoroughly clean the playground, as per standard procedure in instances where hazardous items are found in playground areas.

Following further investigations by Queensland Police Service today, council has been advised that the thumb tacks and broken bottle appear to have been left over from a BBQ and children's party in the park. Police advised that they were satisfied it was not a deliberate act."

Mr Rankin said the community association was hoping council would install temporary CCTV before permanent cameras could be delivered.