Locals fume as sewage 'leaking everywhere' at busy Aussie beach

Locals say travellers are 'not coming here anymore' because of the inadequate public toilets.

Fed-up locals forced to deal with a set of "unsafe" public toilets installed along a popular Aussie beachfront have slammed the temporary facility that people say are "frequently blocked" and "leak sewage" all day.

Businesses at South Beach, in Perth in WA, even say the lack of proper toilets is costing them customers, with nowhere for people to change after a swim and the dodgy, temporary site deterring people coming to the area.

Public toilets at popular swim spot slammed

Frustrated residents took to social media to air their grievance over the toilets, which have been erected while council works on the construction of new, permanent structures. People say the temporary toilets are "blocked all day" and travellers are "not coming here anymore" because of them, Perth Now reported.

The temporary toilets at South Beach.
The temporary toilets at South Beach have been slammed by frustrated locals. Source: Facebook.

One cafe owner, Ismet (Brin) Aslan, said the lack of proper amenities along the beachfront had cost him customers.

“The cafe is down and we definitely have lost a lot of early swimmers because there is no change rooms,” he said. "People used to come here and go for a swim and change and get ready for work straightaway but they’re not coming here anymore. The business side is really down.”

But according to the City of Fremantle, the reason the toilets are "frequently blocked" and difficult to use is due to people flushing foreign objects down them.

“The overflow was primarily caused by foreign material being flushed down the toilets which has burned out pumps,” the council said. “This includes balloons, baby wipes and even a carton of chips.”

Toilets blocked, regularly 'break down'

Still, residents have criticised the state of the toilets and said they are just not good enough.

“They regularly break down, they leak sewage everywhere,” South Beach regular Lyn Ship said. “It impacts badly on the area because it is iconic and everyone loves coming here.”

An artist's impression of what the new permanent structure are supposed to look like.
An artist's impression of what the new permanent structure are supposed to look like when they open later this year. Source: City of Fremantle.

She said when the temporary toilets were blocked, beachgoers don't have any other options nearby.

“There is another cafe at the very far end of the car park which does have a toilet, but obviously you have to go into the cafe to use it,” she said. “There are no other public facilities within close range.”

A spokesperson for the City of Fremantle said they weren't able to give an estimated date for the completion of new permanent toilets.

“City officers are currently in the process of reviewing the project scope,” they said. “It would be premature for us to announce a construction timeline at this point.”

Wheelchair user Nic Emerson said the toilets aren't safe for those living with a disability.

"It’s an unsafe thing that he’s got to do, to try and get in there,” his father Roger said. “If you get in there and lock the door, there’s no automatic thing to open and close the doorSo if he falls, he’s stuck inside a locked toilet as well, which is another big issue.”

Demolition of the old South Beach change rooms began on Monday 7 August 2023 ahead of the construction of the new change rooms and landscaping.

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