Colin Woodward isn't one to mince his words.
Each time the East Maitland man takes his family out to enjoy a barbecue in a local park, he seems to hit a snag.
Locked loos and broken barbecues have left Colin and members of his family disappointed - particularly last Thursday when 25 relatives gathered in Maitland Park.
The family had met up to mark Colin's parents' 50th wedding anniversary, even though his dad passed away two years ago.
You'd think they'd get the basic stuff like barbecues right - what's going to happen on Australia Day when there are hundreds at the parkColin Woodward
"We still wanted to do something for mum and we love our family barbecues," Colin said.
But when the family found toilets at East Maitland's Stockade Hill were locked and the barbecues were timber and understandably closed because of fire bans, they headed to Maitland Park.
They decided to set up camp near the baths, adjacent to a toilet block, conveniently located for some of the family's older members.
Unfortunately they struggled to find a barbecue that worked. "We ended up finding one at the eastern end of the park near the old church, but it was a fair hike to the toilets that are located back near the pool," Colin said.
"There used to be another toilet block closer to where the working barbecue was but those amenities have been demolished.
"Council is spending a lot of money on skate parks and sporting facilities which I can understand because we're a growing city and need this type of infrastructure.
"However, you'd think they'd get the basic stuff like barbecues right - what's going to happen on Australia Day when there are hundreds at the park," he asked.
"There was only one table near the barbecue that worked - not enough seating for all of us. A few extra seats and additional toilet facilities at these locations isn't too much to ask - surely?"
Colin contacted Maitland Council after last Thursday's experience and was told someone would get back to him. "I'm still waiting," he said.
The Mercury contacted Maitland Council but they chose not to comment at this stage.
This week the family will try their luck at a new park at Raworth.