ONLY LOOKING: Brad Watts (team leader for horticulture in the parks in Maryborough) with one of the many roses in flower.
ONLY LOOKING: Brad Watts (team leader for horticulture in the parks in Maryborough) with one of the many roses in flower. Alistair Brightman

Smell, but don't touch: Council's warning to rose pluckers

PLUCKING a rose from the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden will end up being a very expensive mistake for unwary residents.

Fines of up to $1,300 can be issued by the Fraser Coast Regional Council for roses taken from the picturesque Maryborough gardens.

The council has reiterated the roses are to be smelled and not touched, after a Facebook post falsely claimed it was not an offence to take roses from the garden.

Stealing flowers from any public garden on the Fraser Coast is considered a breach of Local Law No. 4.

The issue is particularly personal for Brad Watts, who says it can take weeks for the roses to flower.

The council's Horticulture & Open Space team leader said roses being taken from the gardens has become a daily problem for the Parks and Gardens team.

"It's a life's work for us and people just think it's a free-for-all," Mr Watts said.

"It's also disheartening to see that people will even walk up and take the roses off when we're working in broad daylight."

Mr Watts said council staff could spend months in making the roses look presentable, and all that could be undone in a matter of seconds.

He said the people could contact the council if they wanted to have roses supplied for community or private events.

"The broad message is look, but don't touch," Mr Watts said.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said these gardens, located on the corner of Kent and Tooley Sts, are on the site of Maryborough's second official cemetery, which closed in 1873.

"Stealing the flowers is akin to robbing from the graves and offensive to a great many residents and visitors including the descendants of people who were once, or are still, buried there," Cr Seymour said.

Maryborough's earliest cemetery was located at the Old Township site on Alice Street.

The second cemetery was opened on the corner of Kent and Tooley streets but after being deemed a public health risk, it closed in 1873.

By 1907 most headstones and remains were moved to the present cemetery on Walker Street. One headstone still exists near toilet block.



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