Dunny dramas: CBD streets used like a toilet

 

FULL-bladdered bar flies are treating CBD streets as a giant public toilet, infuriating workers who have been left to mop up the mess.

Flinders St business manager Daniel Post said shopfronts had been plastered with pee and poo for months as late-night revellers and ­vagrants relieved themselves all over small businesses.

CCTV footage shows scores of people squatting in setback doorways and windows on Ogden St while Flinders St garden beds and footpaths were also being used as makeshift toilets.

 

Punters have been relieving themselves on businesses along Ogden St and Flinders St in the Townsville CBD. Pic: Supplied
Punters have been relieving themselves on businesses along Ogden St and Flinders St in the Townsville CBD. Pic: Supplied

 

Mr Post said he had noticed the problem increase since the State Government-enforced ID scanners were brought in to the Safe Night Precinct in early 2017.

He said every recessed fire door on Ogden St was "caked" with human excrement, describing the situation as "putrid".

"Ogden St is a public toilet for the whole city at the moment," Mr Post said.

Portaloos serve as public toilets in Flinders St East on Friday and Saturday nights but Mr Post said public amenities were scarce further west on Flinders St.

He called on the Townsville City Council to reopen the public toilets at Bulletin Square at night.

 

 

Punters have been relieving themselves on businesses along Ogden St and Flinders St in the Townsville CBD. Pic: Supplied
Punters have been relieving themselves on businesses along Ogden St and Flinders St in the Townsville CBD. Pic: Supplied

 

"They can't expect people to walk 600m with a gut full of urine," Mr Post said.

"Why should I have to constantly clean it?"

Townsville Safe Night Precinct president and Heritage Exchange owner Emmanuel Bogiatzis said the group hoped to replace the portaloos with a demountable toilet block building plumbed into the sewerage system.

"Council's been very good and they've listened to our complaint," Mr Bogiatzis said.

"We just feel what's there at the moment isn't suitable."

 

Business owners on Flinders St have spoken of their frustration at cleaning up after people who are urinating and defecating on shopfronts late at night. Pic: Supplied
Business owners on Flinders St have spoken of their frustration at cleaning up after people who are urinating and defecating on shopfronts late at night. Pic: Supplied

 

He hoped the demountable building would be in place before Christmas and open most days and nights and thought it might save the council money.

Mr Bogiatzis said the current system of pumping out the two portaloos weekly was costing about $60,000 to $70,000 a year. A Safe Night Precinct meeting this week was set to include discussion about the demountable toilet-block options with a council representative.

Townsville police Eastern Patrol Group Inspector Damien Crosby said officer numbers ramped up on Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Inspector Damien Crosby.
Inspector Damien Crosby.

 

Townsville police walk down Flinders Street East’s Drink Safe Precinct. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Townsville police walk down Flinders Street East’s Drink Safe Precinct. Picture: Zak Simmonds

 

He said fines for public urination were $130 and jumped to $261 if caught near a licensed premises. Public nuisance fines were $391 and rose to $783 near a pub or club.

In May, Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the council was happy to work with late-night traders to improve Flinders St East, but added a previous proposal for permanent public toilets hadn't gone ahead because traders weren't prepared to contribute financially.