Tourism

Tourists encouraged to use dog poo bags amid toilet infrastructure issues

Tourists visiting Tasmania’s Bruny Island may find themselves in a spot of bother when attempting to go to the loo.

Thanks to an uptick in visitors, the island is presently facing a number of serious infrastructure issues, one of which is a lack of public toilets.

But never fear, the Tasmanian tourism body has suggested an easy alternative, dog poo bags.

Yes, you read that right, the body has encouraged visitors to explore the many uses of a dog poo bag.

In an article on tips for tourists, the Destination Southern Tasmania (DST) asked visitors to remove litter and waste, and said to anyone that found themselves away from a loo, “Dog poo bags are good for all kinds of poo!”

The advice was met with immediate criticism from locals and travellers alike.

Bruny Island Community Association president Megan Weston said at first she assumed the tip was a joke, however quickly realised it was not.

“To suggest that people use a doggy poo bag when we’re having major problems with people not having enough public toilets is just appalling.”

Weston added that human faeces had been discovered on the beach at Adventure Bay, and called it “disgraceful”.

Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania
Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania

“Constantly you go for a walk somewhere in the bush and you will find toilet paper.”

“I know a couple of places today have had to put up signs saying, ‘toilets for use of patrons only’,” she said.

For Weston, the issue is a lack of public toilets, and this needs to be addressed immediately.

Meanwhile, Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter called it “one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever read, totally out of step with community sentiment.”

“It was a very poor thing for an organisation to start suggesting that,” he added.

DST spokesperson Alex Heroys has addressed the advice, claiming the article was simply meant to encourage visitors to clean up after themselves.

“We are not suggesting that local residents use council dog poo bags to collect their own faeces or for local residents to avoid toilets.

“In previous years, there has been concern from local residents about litter on Bruny Island, including toilet paper.

“We are asking visitors to clear up all litter after themselves and dispose of it appropriately, in tune with the expectations of the local community to maintain the beauty of Bruny Island,” Heroys added.

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