Grumpy / Go spend a penny here, Mr Barr!

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Inside: no toilet seats, no toilet paper, filthy conditions and broken locks. Photo by Danielle Nohra

I AM very proud of our wonderful city and all it offers. Sadly, recent experiences cause me to write out of total frustration as to the state of the toilet block at Bowen Park on the foreshore at Kingston.

As a regular visitor to the lake and surrounding areas, this toilet block is an absolute disgrace. I often meet up at this location and as a 75-year-old need, on occasion, to utilise the “high-toilet” facilities along with lots of other visitors, walkers, joggers, travellers and cyclists.

Comments from locals and visitors alike tell it all – no toilet seats, no toilet paper, filthy conditions (hosing down doesn’t solve the problem), and broken locks.

The “high-tech toilet” facilities at Kingston’s Bowen Park… “a health hazard and an eyesore all in one.,” says Mal Barnett. Photo by Danielle Nohra

The elderly and kids – the most vulnerable of our community – have to use this facility (if you can call it that), which is a health hazard and an eyesore all in one.

I travel around a fair bit and often visit Kiama on the NSW south coast. The ACT government personnel in charge of our toilets should visit this place. In the main street there is a toilet block alongside the art gallery. This is five-star compared to the one in Bowen Park. It is absolutely immaculately clean with nice toilet rolls, washing and hygiene facilities, and no graffiti – a great credit to this country town which handles a lot of tourists.

Maybe Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his team, who as he stated does not like our media or what it says, should take a trip to Bowen Park and maybe have a barbecue and a toilet break then go and wash his hands and see what he thinks.

It’s a sad reflection on our wonderful city.

Grumpy is an occasional column dedicated to things that get up your nose. Readers are invited to vent (no more than 300 words, please) at

“CityNews” independently visited the Bowen Park toilets. Reporter Danielle Nohra was able to confirm Mr Barnett’s experience.

“The toilets were worse than I expected,” she writes.

“The toilet seats were missing, there was no soap, the once ‘button-operated’ doors were replaced with dodgy locks and one of them smelt so bad that I couldn’t stand in it for more than five seconds.

“A man nearby approached me while I was taking photos and unsurprisingly said that some of his female workers refuse to use them.”

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleMoore / Health goes back to the future
Next articleGrattan / Australia expels two Russian spies as part of international push against Russia


  1. I don’t understand how people expect the ACT Government to fork out $1.73Billion (Auditor General’s report) for the Gungahlin tram over the next 20 years and still be able to afford the amenities so evident in other cities.

Leave a Reply