Gold Coast Meter Maid photography and news media coverage - Media Man Int and Media Man Australia online coverage

Gold Coast Meter Maid photography and news media coverage - Media Man Int and Media Man Australia online coverage

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Gold Coast Meter Maid. Photo art by Greg Tingle. Andy Warhol pop art inspired




The iconic Surfers Paradise Metermaids were introduced by the now defunct Surfers Progress Association when in 1964 the then Gold Coast City Council introduced paid parking into Surfers Paradise, requiring visitors to the then beach side tourist destination to pay for the time they parked their cars on the Surfers Paradise streets using parking meters.

The local traders were so concerned that the requirement for 5 cents an hour parking would scare away the weekend tourists from Brisbane that something needed to be done. The brain child of local trader Bernie Elsie was to introduce “courtesy maids” who would walk the streets of Surfers Paradise dressed in golden bikinis and wearing jewelled tiaras, feeding the parking meters. Hence the now iconic Surfers Paradise Metermaids were born and have since 1964 continued to feed the parking meters in Surfers Paradise, preventing an estimated ½ million dollars in parking fines and paying for millions of visitors for their parking when they park their car in the streets of Australia’s premier tourist destination.

When paying for the parking for a tourist’s car, under the windscreen wiper is left a small courtesy brochure advising the car owner that they have just been saved from a parking fine. That brochure has over the years been a source of information of businesses in the Surfers Paradise precinct as well as a means of local businesses, the council and Surf Life Saving Australia to communicate offers, information and events.

Despite a common misconception, it is the case that the Metermaids are not funded by the Gold Coast City Council and in fact following the disbanding of the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce that had taken over the Progress Association’s management of the “Courtesy Maids” in the early 1990’s, the iconic golden girls have been privately operated. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Roberta Aitchison herself was one of the famous girls and when faced with the prospect of no longer being funded by the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce, decided to take on the “business” of running the legendary brand and then now internationally trademarked Surfers Paradise Metermaids and Gold Coast.

*click here for the full history of the Gold Coast Meter Maids



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