Mu­ral re­moval sparks big de­bate

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

THE re­moval of an Air­lie Beach public toi­let mu­ral has sparked a big de­bate.

And it won’t be put back any time soon after a mo­tion at a coun­cil meet­ing on Wed­nes­day re­jected hav­ing it re-in­stalled. But they have de­cided to ask the com­mu­nity for con­sul­ta­tion on what they think should be in the toi­lets.

Coun­cil said there had been six re­cent com­plaints about the toi­let.

De­bate orig­i­nally raged on so­cial me­dia last week after a com­plaint was re­ceived about the mu­ral in the men’s public toi­let near the Air­lie Beach fore­shore and it was then re­moved.

Orig­i­nally in­stalled in 2006, the mu­ral de­picts four women in var­i­ous poses in what ap­pears to be a cheeky at­tempt at hu­mour.

While many on so­cial me­dia de­rided the de­ci­sion as po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness gone too far, Dayna Russell says it’s no laugh­ing mat­ter.

Ms Russell who is on the board of Restor­ing Hope, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that works with young peo­ple and chil­dren who have suf­fered sex­ual abuse, lodged a com­plaint.

“Some­one who was a vic­tim and is in his 40s, he brought it up to me. He said he’s com­plained many times in 10 years and no one’s pay­ing at­ten­tion,” Ms Russell said.

“I love a good joke just like ev­ery­one else (and) I’ve got noth­ing per­son­ally against the artist (but) it’s a public space and the im­age is just not ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Whit­sun­day coun­cil­lor Jan Clif­ford fought for the mu­ral at the coun­cil meet­ing and sub­mit­ted a no­tion to have it put back.

“Up un­til re­cently I've never heard any­thing but pos­i­tive gig­gles and laughs (about the mu­ral). They’ve been very widely ac­cepted,” she said.

“The women aren’t naked or per­form­ing lewd acts. It’s a bit of fun, that’s all it is.”

WRONG? The Air­lie Beach public toi­let mu­ral which cre­ated de­bate.

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