Portaloos have been causing a stink in Glenorchy.
The community at the head of the lake contacted Mountain Scene this week, peed off about where a City Hall contractor plopped the eight toilets – four right in front of the town’s War Memorial, and four beside the neighbouring GY Cafe.
The loos were delivered early this week in response to flooding concerns.
After a community outcry, the council moved them on Wednesday – but community association chair John Glover says everyone there’s upset about them, for various reasons.
He says the septic system at the back of the town hall, where the one lot of permanent public toilets are, failed at Easter, so council dropped off some temporary potties for public use.
“They were just in such a disgusting state I actually sent emails over Easter to the mayor and chief exec, just showing how bad they were,” Glover says.
The hall toilets haven’t been coping again lately due to high water levels, at least in part.
When Glover heard there were more portaloos on the way, he says there was an “exchange of emails” with Glenorchy-based councillor Niki Gladding, who couldn’t be reached for comment.
Glover says he suggested a “decent block” of trailer-mounted loos, which are easier to clean and “a little bit more professional”, be delivered.
“I got an email back saying they didn’t know if the budget would stretch to that.
“And then I heard we got eight, which [were] just … dumped on the main road outside the War Memorial, which is so insensitive, apart from the effect on our main street and the businesses next to those.
“It’s just quite clear to me that people down in Queenstown who are organising things just don’t understand Glenorchy, they don’t care about Glenorchy – it’s just like we’re getting a few crumbs off the table.
“We see all the money being spent, and probably rightly so, down at the Queenstown waterfront with concrete barriers and things, and new carparks going in, and the Ladies Mile … but we’re having to scrape around for cheap, second-best options.”
Council rep Jack Barlow says the portaloos were delivered due to the weather and put in locations “deemed to be the most suitable under the circumstances”.
“After members of the public approached us with concerns we elected to shift the portaloos to a new, less visible, site.
“They are now located behind the Glenorchy Community Hall.”
But Glover’s also questioning how long they’ll be there for given the demand for facilities in Glenorchy during summer, and where some of the new public loos, funded by the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, are.
In October, council announced it had been given $2.39 million for seven public toilet sites across the district, including at the GY skatepark and waterfront.
Four have been built at the skatepark, but they’ve not yet been opened. The other four, at the waterfront, haven’t eventuated yet.
Meantime, there’s been no action on the hall toilets all year.
“As the chairman of the community association, it’s extremely disappointing and it’s very frustrating, and it’s just sending a sign that nobody’s listening and nobody’s interested.”