L-R: Victoria Sakelaridis, 15 (orange) from Melbourne, Meter Maids Kelly Maybury (reddish hair) and Estefania Marquez (dark hair) with Anna Sakelaridis, 18 (yellow) and Ange Italia, 15 (white) all from Melbourne on holidays were happy to grab a selfie while on holidays. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
L-R: Victoria Sakelaridis, 15 (orange) from Melbourne, Meter Maids Kelly Maybury (reddish hair) and Estefania Marquez (dark hair) with Anna Sakelaridis, 18 (yellow) and Ange Italia, 15 (white) all from Melbourne on holidays were happy to grab a selfie while on holidays. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

‘I can’t let council kill off an icon’

THE owner of the Gold Coast Meter Maids is vowing not to give in to what she alleges is pressure by authorities but is scrapping plans for an app to get around donations.

Meter Maids longtime brand owner Roberta Aitchison last week revealed she was looking at developing an app to allow tourists to download photos and donate via their phones.

It would get around her Meter Maids being paid cash donations for photos on the streets of Surfers Paradise where she claims council officials are "harassing" her staff.

 

Bylaws prohibit businesses operating on council property without authorisation and Ms Aitchison alleges scrutiny is putting her staff off working.

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But she is scrapping the idea for the app saying she has had it priced at $40,000 and it is not financially viable.

The Meter Maids owner claims Gold Coast City Council are causing issues for Meter Maids Estefania Marquez and Kelly Maybury. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
The Meter Maids owner claims Gold Coast City Council are causing issues for Meter Maids Estefania Marquez and Kelly Maybury. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

So now the defiant Ms Aitchison, a former Meter Maids herself before she trademarked the name, hopes to supply her girls with digital cameras to upload the tourist photos to a website which can then be downloaded and paid for that way.

"I can't let the council kill off the icon. I have too much public support for that to happen," she said.

"It's all about them accepting money. They have said I can have the girls doing cartwheels if they want but they can't take money. They have reduced my girls to tears and reduced my teams to next to nothing," she claimed.

“I can’t let the council kill off the icon. I have too much public support for that to happen,” Ms Aitchison said. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
“I can’t let the council kill off the icon. I have too much public support for that to happen,” Ms Aitchison said. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"Not a fitting way to treat such an icon of 54 years - why would you treat these girls in such a way - if it was just a promotion that started last week you could understand council, but it's not right to treat this piece of history in such a demeaning way."

"We have brought millions of dollars of free publicity to the Gold Coast and we need to be shown a little more appreciation for the goodwill we have created all around the world."

Earlier this month the Meter Maids were invited to a Big Bash cricket promotion at Main Beach where they posed with Brisbane Heat players.

The city council has consistently said the city and its officials "strongly denied any question of wrongdoing" towards the Meter Maids in Surfers Paradise.



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