Needles found in playground

COUNCIL has ruled out bark as an appropriate padding for the Victoria Park playgrounds, due to the number of hypodermic needles found in the area.

The playground, located across from the hospital, has been the dumping ground for an undisclosed number of needles in the past 12 months.

Although the council could not provide an exact number of needles, a spokeswoman could confirm the park harboured more of the drug utensils than any other Warwick park.

Both the Wallace St and Locke St playgrounds are set to undergo upgrades this month but council has urged rubber be used instead of bark, to prevent needles getting buried in the material.

Warwick father-of-three Shane Cartwright said it was frightening to think one of his young children could step on a dirty syringe.

"It makes me really angry that people are leaving them lying around in the parks," Mr Cartwright said.

"Fair enough if you have a habit, but don't leave it around for our kids to step on."

Mr Cartwright said the risk was made real for him recently.

He spotted an exposed needle lying on a walkway in a Redcliffe park.

"It was just lying on a walkway near a basketball court and I thought 'holy heck' and told the kids this is something they need to watch out for," he said.

"Before the kids get on something I always have a look and see if there is anything in there."

"I think it is really important to teach your kids what they should be careful about."

Mum-of-two Helen Gray echoed the sentiments of Mr Cartwright, urging drug users to dispose of their needles in the appropriate places.

"I saw a needle at Leslie Dam once but I guess you never know whether it was drugs or used for horses," she said.

"I think it is disappointing that they can't be more responsible with how they dispose of them."

A council spokeswoman said sharps containers were located in all urban toilets and council staff cleaned the parks and removed any sharps located.

The Wallace St play equipment is set to be removed and replaced with a small swing and the softfall at the Locke St side will be replaced.

Topics:  children council needles playground warwick

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