Photo Of The Day

Gold Coast Bulletin reporter Jack Houghton tried out the open-air urinals and wasn’t a fan.

Gold Coast Bulletin reporter Jack Houghton tried out the open-air urinals and wasn’t a fan.

Controversial Open-Air Urinals Installed In The Centre Of Surfers Paradise May Be Flushed Away

The Gold Coast City Council is set to dump the facilities within a week.

The urinals, which were placed in locations across Orchid Avenue, were installed last week as part of an intended three-month trial but immediately attracted criticism from business owners and tourists for disturbing the area’s amenity.

Mayor Tom Tate, who was not involved in the decision to hold the $5500 trial, phoned councillors from China to cut short the trial and limit use of the urinals, which were installed to discourage public urination.

Under the new plan, the trial will now end soon after New Year’s Day.

Until then, the urinals will operate restricted hours from midnight to dawn and will be more heavily screened.

The urinals originally opened from 8.30pm. Temporary fencing and shade cloths were installed two days ago.. Before Tate’s intervention, Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek said the urinals were an embarrassment and criticised “ratepayers’ money going on an abomination like that”.

“Surely in the 21st century we can come up with better ways of dealing with issues like that,” he said. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium general manager Russell Murphy, who has been in business in Surfers Paradise for 23 years, said it was not the right direction when “we’re trying to make Surfers a classier destination”.

“Who wants to have a pee while other people can stand around looking at them?” he said. “I think it will encourage voyeurism.”

Orchid Avenue business owner Craig Duffy, of the Hollywood Showgirls strip club, said the whole idea was revolting. “I’m actually in disbelief. I thought when I first saw it that it was some sort of Photoshop joke. It’s unhygienic and visually unappealing,” he said. “They should get rid of them immediately before Christmas and New Year.

“The more tourists who see that, the more damage will be done to the brand of the Gold Coast.”

Area councillor Lex Bell said the urinals had been the focus of problematic behaviour, including some women using the facilities.

“Personally I find the urinals offensive but I find it more offensive for people to urinate in public,” he said.

“The thought was that if we put the urinals in places where inebriated people have to stagger past they may use them. However, we will look at things next week and if the trial is found to have not worked, we will pull them entirely.

“If they are successful, then we will give it a bit longer. I am not enthused with the design so we have erected additional screens so they are more acceptable to the public.”

The Bulletin understands the council will now investigate whether it can end the trial entirely and remove the urinals.

Tate, who has remained mayor while out of the city rather than appoint Deputy Mayor Donna Gates to act in his place, has ordered an investigation.

While the facilities were backed by Surfers Paradise Alliance before installation, nearby shop owners have expressed horror in recent days at the sight and stench produced by the units.

 GOLD COAST BULLETIN

 


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