Council tackles nude bather complaints
TOWNSVILLE council officers have recommended disabling showers at free camp sites north of the city after complaints about people showering nude in public.
The unwanted public displays is one of several complaints by residents living near the sites which has led the council to devise an operational plan, including the introduction of a $10 fee per vehicle per night and the issue penalty infringement notices.
But whether the council proceeds with the removal of the showers was unclear with some councillors questioning whether it was the right course of action.
The council operates free camp sites in Rollingstone, Balgal Beach, Bluewater, Toomulla and Saunders Beach.
A report to yesterday's council meeting says the sites are popular, attracting many visitors and leading to economic benefits for the city, but that problems have arisen which negatively impact on residents and the visitor experience.
The report says concerns have been raised about vehicles speeding within the sites, that people overstay the designated 48-hour period, that toilet blocks are unclean or odorous with insufficient refuse bins and that people shower nude in public.
A budget of about $37,000 was recommended, with most of that aimed at increasing refuse bins and cleaning.
Councillor for the area Margie Ryder said addressing the problems would be of great benefit to her residents but added it would come at a cost to ratepayers.
"During the last two years I have been getting overwhelmingly continued feedback from my residents about how unhappy they are," Cr Ryder said.
Cr Paul Jacob said initiatives including $10 nightly fees were good but questioned the removal of the showers.
Mayor Jenny Hill said people tended to use the showers for bathing and that "some people are a little freer than what they should be in the public environment".
Cr Colleen Doyle said she supported the whole idea of the showers remaining.
"We shouldn't be managing one problem by creating another," Cr Doyle said.
Cr Hill said there could be a better way to deal with the issue and it was something she would be asking the staff to look into.
The officer's recommendation that the council endorse the operational plan was passed unanimously.