Australian city spends $278k on public toilet for Instagrammers

Posted at 5:36 AM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 05:36:12-04

The most photographed tourist attraction in Perth, Australia isn’t a monument, public artwork or UNESCO site.

It’s the Crawley Edge Boat Shed, a bright blue wooden house that many locals drive past several times a day without noticing.

But thanks to its popularity on Instagram, this little blue shed has become a major local issue, with the state of Western Australia spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to install a public toilet nearby to accommodate the many tourists who flock here for social media photo shoots.

Popularity, though, can come with problems.

Unlike many of the city’s other popular photo locations — the Elizabeth Quay Bridge, for example — the Crawley Edge Boat Shed is not in a convenient location.

It’s located along the Swan River, which provides the beautiful backdrop for most of the pictures taken here. But it’s also just off of Mounts Bay Road, one of the busiest streets in Perth.

In order to visit the boat shed, most tourists park on nearby residential streets, then cross Mounts Bay Road on foot. Considering this is a major thoroughfare with cars whizzing by in both directions, this can be a nerve-wracking and dangerous experience.

On May 28, Perth’s city council met to address the issue of overtourism at the blue boat shed.

“There has been an increase over the past few years of visitors to this area, with tour buses as well as self-driven visitors stopping here for photo opportunities,” reports the council.

“The closest public facility is located at the Narrows Gardens which is 2.4 kilometres [1.5 miles] away.”

The agenda noted that a nearby restaurant,Zafferano’s, has had issues with tourists coming in to use their facilities, with the owner claiming that some had been rude, disruptive and even verbally abusive.

To solve the issue, the city of Perth has decided to build its first solar-powered toilet.

It will reportedly cost AUS $400,000 ($278,000 US) to install and an additional AUS $20,000 ($14,000 US) per year for maintenance.

The council further added: “The construction of the proposed facility, with appropriate signage at strategic locations, will allow visitors to the area the respite they need, without exhausting the current business facility’s capacity.”