Gold Coast Meter Maids (left-right) Sara Baratta, Tiy Rusnik and Eduarda Amaral. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Gold Coast Meter Maids (left-right) Sara Baratta, Tiy Rusnik and Eduarda Amaral. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Maids join Games party despite ‘crazy’ ban

 

GOLD Coast Meter Maids are walking the Surfers Paradise strip despite being warned they face a $750 fine for doing so.

Meter Maids owner Roberta Aitchison claims her staff - dressed in skimpy gold bikinis - have been told not to venture into official Commonwealth Games areas, that includes the promenade at Surfers and famous Cavill Avenue.

"We are not even allowed to walk as human beings, as girls in bikinis," Ms Aitchison, a former maid herself, told News Corp.

Gold Coast Meter Maids (left-right) Sara Baratta, Tiy Rusnik and Eduarda Amaral at Surfers Paradise. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Gold Coast Meter Maids (left-right) Sara Baratta, Tiy Rusnik and Eduarda Amaral at Surfers Paradise. Picture: Nigel Hallett

"It is GOLDOC, it is Peter Beattie, powerhouse we call him. Mr Beattie needs to come down and work out what the Gold Coast is all about and what has made the Gold Coast what it is today, which is Meter Maids. We have the ocean, we have the sand and the blue sky and we have Meter Maids. He needs to get off his high horse and come down to our earth and realise what is important to this town."

A GOLDOC spokeswoman insisted the organisation had given no warning against Meter Maids walking.

But Ms Aitchison said maids had been "hassled" in the streets of Surfers Paradise since late March.

Michelle McDonald (right) with her mother Ros and daughter Chloe, 4, with the Meter Maids. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Michelle McDonald (right) with her mother Ros and daughter Chloe, 4, with the Meter Maids. Picture: Nigel Hallett

She told News Corp earlier this month that council wardens had told girls, they could be in Surfers, but "not when the Games are on".

Meter Maids first started walking the streets of the Gold Coast in 1965.

Ms Aitchison said it had been an "unwritten law" for her staff to be able to feed parking meters (generally 40 cents, giving punters an extra eight to 10 minutes of parking), pose for photos and sell postcards for years without a permit.

They also sell merchandise, including key rings, T-shirts and beer coolers.

"It is a power trip by Peter Beattie," Ms Aitchison said. "I am a bit amiss with it all. I don't know what they are scared of. I think it is a bad attitude."

Just a week ago, Aitchinson opened the Meter Maid bar on Orchard Avenue in Surfers Paradise, where Meter Maids serve customers.

"We ask them to come and have a coldy with a Goldie," she laughed.

Michelle McDonald (right) with her mother Ros and daughter Chloe, 4, with the Meter Maids. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Michelle McDonald (right) with her mother Ros and daughter Chloe, 4, with the Meter Maids. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Tiy Rusnik, 23, has been working as a Meter Maid for six years.

"We are an icon here. We are embedded in the history," she said. "We are basically a happy face for everything that is the Gold Coast here as well. I am very proud to be a Meter Maid and I am very proud to walk the streets as well because I meet so many parents and children, international tourists that are always so friendly and welcoming."

Gold Coast local Michelle McDonald, 32, had her photo taken with the Meter Maids with her four-year-old daughter, Chloe, and her mother, Ros.

"They are an icon of Surfers, we've grown up with them," Michelle said. "It is crazy they've been banned during the games. It is a good thing for tourism."

Sydney bus driver John McMahon also has no problem with the women in bikinis.

"If they're dressed like that, we don't mind. She is dressed nicely in a bikini, that is fine. That is the Aussie spirit."



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