Who's cutting your grass?
NEXT time you curse as you begin your by-now weekly mowing of your lawn - at the moment you can virtually "hear the grass grow" - give thought to Tweed Shire Council ground staff who are hard at the mowing caper from near dawn to late afternoon most days of the week.
TSC maintains 35 sports fields and close to 500 parks and reserves across the Local Government Area.
Council is also responsible for the maintenance of approximately 67 toilet blocks, 60 barbecue facilities and 18 sport amenity blocks.
Staff and contractors, who are usually employed in the more remote areas of the shire, maintain more than 585 hectares of public open space each week - mowing and carrying out general gardening maintenance.
Council's recreation services unit includes carpenters, signwriters, plumbers, painters as well as garden maintenance and sportsfield staff.
Recreation services manager Stewart Brawley said the Tweed has an extended growing season compared to NSW councils further south.
"Growth during that extended growing season can be extremely vigorous, which presents challenges," Mr Brawley said.
"Generally speaking the growing season also coincides with the wet season, which makes managing the maintenance in that period potentially difficult."
Another challenge is the growing popularity of the Tweed's coastal parks.
"While it's wonderful that residents and visitors are taking advantage of our upgraded parks over summer, it can be a challenge for us in scheduling maintenance of the grounds," Mr Brawley said.
"We have to start a lot earlier because if we turn up to mow at 10am, there's people everywhere and we don't want to interrupt their enjoyment."