Meet Council worker Robbie Cross who has handled crocodiles, laid the bricks in Buss Park and built a flood-proof barbecue in his 30 years so far.
Robbie is one of 18 recently recognised long-serving staff who have a combined total of 490 years service between them.
Robbie's career at Council has been wide and varied.
He started working in the Parks and Gardens department on 13 February 1989 following a keen interest in horticulture.
“My father and brother were on Council and I expressed interest to go there in Parks and Gardens side; I like the horticulture side of things,” he said.
A bricklayer by trade, Robbie said he already knew a thing or two about being a labourer and spent two years perfecting his skills before moving over to the Regulated Parking department.
From there he returned to Parks and Gardens where he remained for 22 years.
“I loved the work,” he said.
“When you start a job you always hope that there is a wide variety of things you can do.
“I went from a labourer in a truck to a ride-on mower and more, then I went to a supervisor position.
“I was lucky enough to experience a whole range of skills.”
Moving crocodiles at the zoo
Robbie said some of his proudest moments in his Parks and Gardens role included the creation of a sturdy barbecue that withstood two floods.
“I built a barbecue in Lions Park and it was a bit of a running joke with the rest of the team that it wouldn’t last long,” he said.
“It survived the first floods in 2011 and then survived the 2013 floods, much to everyone’s surprise.”
Robbie said he had also met some interesting characters, including a snappy reptile or two.
“I was working at Alexandra Park when it used to be home to our very large crocodile named Salty,” he said.
“I remember one day we were tasked to add two new crocodiles into the enclosure and it was my job, along with a couple of other guys, to transport them from the truck and into the park.
“That was probably one of the scariest and most interesting jobs I ever had to do!”
Buss Park bricks
Robbie said another highlight of his career was doing the brick work in Buss Park – the same brick work that is still there today.
He said he also thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team to create displays for various events.
After 22 years in Parks and Gardens, Robbie is now located within the Venues and Facilities department and is responsible for looking after Council property within the region.
During his time he has played a big part in setting up for events and has used his creative flair to create displays, including those at the Brisbane Exhibition and Expo 88.
One that comes to mind is when he created an Olympic Games display in Buss Park for an official visit and received favourable praise.
Mr Cross was also involved with developing the Recreational Precinct from scratch and considers it his ‘baby’, having put his heart and soul into it for the last eight years.
Robbie's service recognised
Robbie Cross was one of 18 people who recently received a long-service award at Bundaberg Regional Council's Staff Service Awards.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Council's long-serving staff on their achievements.
“These awards are a reminder of the valuable contribution our long-term staff make to our organisation,” he said.
“The knowledge gained from years of experience and the important part they play in mentoring others is significant.”