Bell Street in the Ipswich CBD.
Bell Street in the Ipswich CBD. Rob Williams

Less poo but still lots to do in Bell Street

SINCE The Queensland Times broke the story about people using Bell Street as a toilet (see link below), things have improved a little, but there's a long way to go before it can be a true transit centre.

Last month barber Shane Douglas spoke to The Queensland Times about the issue of toilets in the heart of the CBD, especially the lack of them and the fact people were resorting to going anywhere they could.

Mr Douglas had resorted to cleaning up human excrement himself, as with no toilets open in the street, along with a total lack of signage, visitors using public transport were resorting to using car parks and the gutter as their lavatories.

On the day the Queensland Times spoke to Mr Douglas, there was an abundance of poo to be found, even on the steps of the old CBD Tavern which closed several months ago.

"Lots of people came to me when the story broke and said they too had rung the council to complain about the state of Bell Street," Shane said. "But on each occasion, nobody at the council got back to them. One woman told me she personally rang the council twice and nobody ever responded.

"I have noticed a cleaner around the place a bit more often, but still there's no sign of any signage to direct people to toilets. Like any transit centre, when you move it from a location that has toilets you need to provide the same from the first bus to the last bus."

Shane Johnson from Charlie's Barber discusses some of the more faecal matters happening in Bell Street.
Shane Johnson from Charlie's Barber discusses some of the more faecal matters happening in Bell Street. Rob Williams

The Queensland Times contacted Cr David Martin for a response, and received a statement from the council saying that the matter of signage would be addressed. To date nobody from the council has spoken to Shane, and he thinks the reason why is the current situation.

"Nobody at council wants to take responsibility for anything at the moment. People already knew what was going on. I see one woman in Bell Street on a regular basis, and I was here one Sunday, and as I opened the gate to get in my shop she said to me 'Can you believe this is our city?'

"I told her I was just used to it, it's sad...really sad.

"When the schoolkids get on buses in the mornings, they leave cans and food wrappers all over the place, it's all left there and it sits there for hours some days. It's not a good look is it? I've seen a cleaner around but still more could be done, ideally an hourly patrol to keep the place clean would be good. You go to transit centres in Brisbane and you see cleaners and toilets for people. Bell Street should be no different."

The lack of public toilets in Bell Street is causing people to use the street and shop entrances as a toilet
The lack of public toilets in Bell Street is causing people to use the street and shop entrances as a toilet Darren Hallesy

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