Gold Coast meter maids too 'unsophisticated' for Commonwealth Games - council

The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony will feature icons of Australian life - but one image will be notably missing.

Meter maids have been around on the Gold Coast since the 1960s, but the council says they're not 'sophisticated' enough to feature.

Camille Shakespeare can wander Surfers Paradise in her meter maid uniform but she can't ask for a donation to pose for photos anymore.

"We're not actually allowed to work during the Games," she says.

Meter maids claim the council is trying to clear them off the streets.

"I think they are very rude and very unfair to us," says Ms Shakespeare.

"They use any excuse to try and get us off the street... It's really unfair because we are here doing a good job and they just want to get rid of us."

The meter maids service began in 1964 - and while feeding parking meters is not so central to their role anymore, the woman trying to keep their brand alive is Roberta Aitchison, who moved here from Christchurch.

But they won't feature alongside the lifeguards involved in the opening ceremony.

"We should have had a team of girls; we should have had a flag; we should have been leading each team out around that arena [Carrara Stadium] and promoting the beach culture we have here," says Ms Aitchison.

When the city's Mayor was asked in a Games symposium why the meter maids wouldn't be there, he said they were part of the Gold Coast's heritage, but that the city has grown up a bit in 30 years. He said it's now a much more sophisticated city.

The meter maids say they'll hold their own opening ceremony for the 'Common Man' Games they plan to hold when the Commonwealth Games are all over.