Lack of soap in public bathrooms causes shock for resident
Lack of soap in public bathrooms causes shock for resident

Lack of soap causing a stir among residents

Matt Higgins is in a lather after discovering there is no soap across Townsville City Council's public bathrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Higgins had just finished a trek to the top of Castle Hill when he took a sip from a bubbler and went to wash his hands.

But the Oonoonba resident was shocked when there was nothing but water to wash his hands with in the council-owned facility.

He had just walked past several signs on his way up the hill encouraging him to practise good hygiene and social distancing.

After a call to council, Mr Higgins discovered it was not just the Castle Hill bathrooms that had no soap, but all council public bathrooms.

"It seems a little ridiculous that we've put all that messaging up (and we don't have the) actual infrastructure to fulfil the messaging," Mr Higgins said.

Matt Higgins, on Castle Hill, is concerned about the lack of soap in council bathrooms. Picture: Evan Morgan
Matt Higgins, on Castle Hill, is concerned about the lack of soap in council bathrooms. Picture: Evan Morgan

But Mayor Jenny Hill said it was not that simple.

In April, the council asked the community for information regarding vandalism of toilets at The Strand.

At the time, Townsville was in the grips of the pandemic and people had destroyed fixtures and fittings in the toilets.

Thieves had stolen toilet paper and vandals had poured soap all over the floor.

"Not only did this senseless vandalism deprive users of our public toilets from being able to access the soap, it created a dangerous slip hazard," Cr Hill said. "As a result, council decided not to replace soap in public toilets.

"Obviously this is not ideal, but it's the reality when you have people who think they have a right to vandalise community facilities like this.

Mayor Jenny Hill. Picture: Shae Beplate.
Mayor Jenny Hill. Picture: Shae Beplate.

"It's a shame that the actions of a few have resulted in council having to take this action and I can understand the community's frustration, particularly as we all as work so hard to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Cr Hill urged the community to carry antibacterial gel with them at all times so they could clean their hands when necessary.

But Mr Higgins said this was not good enough.

"Putting soap in the bathrooms isn't much of an ask," he said.

"(It only takes one) to slip through the crack, then there could be an outbreak.

"Is the hazard of people putting (soap) on the floor … in a small number of toilets … does that outweigh the global health concerns?"

Originally published as Lack of soap causing a stir among residents


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