Geraldton toilets under ‘constant attack’ as HMAS Sydney Memorial II latest to be hit

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Toilets at the HMAS Sydney Memorial II have been closed.
Camera IconToilets at the HMAS Sydney Memorial II have been closed. Credit: Jessica Moroney

The City of Greater Geraldton’s mayor says public amenities almost need to be made “bombproof” as they are constantly under attack by vandals, the latest being the toilet block at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial.

Mayor Shane Van Styn said the vandalism was becoming a common occurrence.

The female cubicle at the memorial was significantly damaged early on Wednesday morning, leaving the toilets unusable until the city organises repair. The male and disabled toilets were not affected.

“It appears the doors to the female toilets were prised open with a crowbar or some other implement and were bowed heavily,” Mr Van Styn said.

The estimated cost of repairs is $2000.

The damage done to the female toilet door.
Camera IconThe damage done to the female toilet door. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Mr Van Styn said public toilet blocks were a common target for vandals in Geraldton and resulted in costly repairs. He said the city had worked with contractors for several years to lock public toilets during the night and were told of the damage by security.

“It impacts people who want to use them regularly, such as sporting clubs. It’s a bad look for somewhere so significant to look less than appealing,” he said.

“These aren’t the only toilets vandalised. Toilets seem to be the main focus of vandalism and they are under constant attack and misuse by people.”

A portaloo is being used while the city organises repairs.
Camera IconA portaloo is being used while the city organises repairs. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Mr Van Styn said toilet blocks around the foreshore were misused by heavily intoxicated people who were unable to navigate the toilet.

“We know places like Charles Eadon Clarke are under constant attack and are commonly young children. Some of them have been identified,” he said.

“We recently lost a whole toilet block near Moonyoonooka; a car drove through them and caused significant damage.

“People often ask why public toilets cost so much to build. We need to make them bombproof.”

Mr Van Styn said he believed damage to the Moonyoonooka block might be linked to the theft and arson of an Ultimate Watersports vehicle near the Batavia Motor Inne on April 6.

Senior Sergeant Chris Martin said the memorial incident was not reported to police but it was upsetting to hear an area with such great significance had been targeted.

“Vandalism in public toilets is usually young juveniles throwing toilet paper, smashing windows and sinks. The Sydney Memorial is often visited by tourists and to have it damaged is disappointing,” he said.

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