Grumpy / Go spend a penny here, Mr Barr!

Reader MAL BARNETT, a Canberra resident of 52 years, is grumpy about the “disgraceful” state of a public toilet block.

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.”


One Response to “Grumpy / Go spend a penny here, Mr Barr!”

  1. March 27, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

    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.

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