These are tough times for the famous, gold bikini-clad "meter maids" of Australia's Gold Coast. The women—who, since 1965, have been patrolling the streets of the Surfers Paradise resort town topping up parking meters to save motorists from fines—have suffered from the introduction of pay and display parking machines, and were recently banned from selling merchandise. Authorities now want to use them as tourism ambassadors for Queensland, but they say they'll have to cover up first, the Independent reports.
"If they're providing information to visitors on the beachfront, it's entirely appropriate for them to be wearing bikinis," a tourism chief told the Australian. "If they're at the Melbourne Convention Center, that's probably not appropriate attire." The former meter maid who now runs the company says covering up too much would be pointless. "We need to keep it sexy and summery," she says. "You don't really do that in a corporate outfit—you do that in a bikini." (Read more bikini stories.)