Parent's warning after 'putrid' find inside playground toilet

The discovery has sparked concerns in the community about the playground's proximity to the NSW government's free needle program.

A dad taking his child to a public toilet at a kids' water park in Sydney has made a disgusting discovery that had members of the community gagging.

The man entered the baby change room amenities with his four-year-old child at the Bigge Park Water Playground at Liverpool last Wednesday at around 7pm. He found a collection of needles and rubbish littering the room, along with human excrement covering the toilet bowls.

The disturbing scenes prompted the man’s wife to post a warning to others in the area to be careful if needing to use the bathrooms.

Needles sit on a bench and on a sharps disposable box inside a public toilet in Liverpool.
Needles and rubbish were strewn throughout the toilet at Liverpool. Source: Facebook

Furious members of the community branded the mess “putrid”, “disgraceful” and “disgusting”, while Mayor of Liverpool Ned Mannoun also commented on the post, describing it as “shocking” and confirming the situation had been “dealt with”.

Cr Mannoun said a solution had been found – but didn’t explain what that solution was.

Liverpool City Council confirmed to Yahoo News Australia a number of measures have since been implemented, including:

  • The installation of security cameras facing the entry to the cubicles to discourage anti-social behaviour

  • A safety audit conducted by Liverpool Police and a list of recommendations provided

  • Regular security patrols

  • Cleaners to attend to bathrooms twice per day

  • The issue has also been raised at the South West Drug and Alcohol Interagency

Water covers the floor of a public toilet while excrement covers a toilet bowl.
Along with the syringes, the bathroom was covered in filth. Source: Facebook

"At this stage we intend on reopening the splash park cubicles in time for the warmer weather," a council spokesperson said.

Council is also assessing options to have a greater staffing presence, and a meeting with their security contractor is scheduled for July 24 "to consider alternate options".

"Once we have an action plan we can implement accordingly," the spokesperson said.

Free needles available nearby

The water park is just 200m away from Liverpool Hospital’s Emergency Department, where a free machine dispenses syringes as part of the state’s Needle and Syringe Program (NSP).

A further 200m away from the hospital is another NSP outlet inside the Liverpool Sexual Health Clinic.

The program was developed to reduce the sharing of injecting equipment among drug users, and has effectively prevented high numbers of HIV and hepatitis C infections. However community members raised concerns the nearby NSP venues made the public toilets at Bigge Park a convenient location for the needles to be used.

A public toilet block at Bigge Park water playground in Liverpool, Sydney.
The toilets were opened in November 2019, and are now a "known location" for drug users, according to the council. Source: Google

Residents revealed similar complaints about needles have been made in the past, with a letter from Liverpool Council posted online confirming they – along with police and NSW Health – have been aware for at least a year the water play area amenities “are known intravenous drug user locations”.

The needles pictured in the Bigge Park bathrooms are the same type as the free ones distributed at the nearby NSP outlets.

Questions put to Liverpool Council about the needle program were not answered.

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