ARMED with tales of condoms and syringes in the grass, unauthorised barbecues and nappies littering their yards, Brighton-Le-Sands residents have convinced Rockdale Council to do more to police Cook Park.
Councillors voted unanimously last Wednesday night to adopt a motion by Petros Kalligas (Liberal), which committed the council to install more bins, undertake extra cleans-ups, ban charcoal barbecues and introduce metered parking on Little Grand Parade, Kyeemagh.
Cr Kalligas said it was time to acknowledge the council had completely lost control of the park.
"These problems have been going on for years and Rockdale Council has failed to take appropriate measures, despite the countless representations from residents," he said.
Nicholas Kalotinis, of Brighton-Le-Sands, said he and other residents were so fed up they left the area on weekends.
"Every weekend I pick up my three kids and my wife and leave the area," Mr Kalotinis said. "When I go for a walk I see syringes, I see condoms, I see rubbish and illegal parking.
"I've had nappies thrown in the front of my house. It is just ridiculous to be quite honest."
Cr Kalligas said it was tragic that residents felt they had to flee their own homes.
"We need to take tough and direct measures and implement them with a sense of urgency," he said.
A timeline adopted by the council showed new bins would be installed in Cook Park, near Little Grand Parade, over the next fortnight. In the "medium term", the council resolved to ban charcoal barbecues, implement parking restrictions in the area, install gas barbecues in the park and add a boom gate at the Bestic Street and Little Grand Parade intersection.
While welcoming the change in policy as a positive step, Mr Kalotinis said what residents really wanted was action, not words.
"We've been fighting this matter for years," he said.
"I will be happy if something actually gets done."
What do you think of Rockdale Council's new approach to Cook Park?