Calls for 'gay sex den' to be demolished

By HANNAH ROSS news@northernstar.com.au

DEMOLITION work cannot begin soon enough on the old toilet block next to the Brunswick Heads Surf Club, according to concerned parents and club members.

The toilet block is an eyesore, but aesthetics are not the problem.

The block is a well-known haunt for men meeting to have sex. It is often littered with used condoms and needles and holes have been made between the cubicles.

The president of the Brunswick Heads Surf Life Saving Club, Craig Reid, said his biggest worry was the proximity of the toilet block to the surf club and children involved in surf club activities.

He said he knew of several occasions during his six years as club president when youngsters had been approached by men near the toilet block.

He said last summer a young backpacker came into the club ‘shaken up’ after he’d been propositioned by a man, who then exposed himself.

Mr Reid said the sexual rendezvous usually occurred at the toilet block during daylight hours and it was obvious when someone was hanging around waiting for sex.

“The surf club is concerned about these activities just next door. You’ve got kids here all the time and we discourage them from going near the toilets,” he said.

“My main concern is for the kids. Some of them have already been approached and they are really affected by it.

“Give me a bulldozer and I will knock the building down myself,” he said.

A development application to have the toilet block demolished and replaced by new toilets on the other side of the surf club was approved by Byron Shire Council eight years ago.

But according to the council’s acting director of governance and community services, Jim Bolger, the project has not been carried out because the council does not have the funds.

Mr Bolger said the cost to demolish the block and rebuild it would be $110,000; or $10,000 just to knock it down Mr Bolger said costs escalated when it became apparent the new toilet block would have to be demountable because of its location and erosion issues.

He said sexual activity in the toilets made it a priority for the council, the surf club and the Department of Lands to demolish the building as soon as possible.

He said the job was in the council’s current year financial plan and the Department of Lands had indicated it might make up any shortfall in council funds.

“There is a need from all sides of the fence to demolish the toilet block,” he said.



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