The serious low level bird attack on Townsville, Queen City of the North , continued last week . There was a noticeable build up of bird droppings at the front door, below , of the closed waterfront Criterion Hotel , recently refused permission to be knocked down and with two other properties- the grand old Queens Hotel and the 1934 Lilac Court flats -become part of a planned whopper development on The Strand.
While the guano was building up , at long last the overgrown grass and weeds in the Criterion beer garden had been cut, stacked in a pile at the back . There does not appear to be a caretaker on the premises otherwise you would think the grass would have been cut earlier and the birdshit scraped from the entrance . Left unattended , the building is vulnerable , Speak to the fire department for advice, chaps .
Peering through this gate at the Criterion on The Strand side , with a large security sign visible , dead vines, fag ends and assorted litter were visible , an old sun shade hanging limply . All up , not a good look for a tourist town .
Just a short distance away , and this grumpy peg-legged S(h)ipping ) Reporter found a similar , sorry state at the Queens Hotel, apparently no caretaker on the premises because of the large build up of birdshit , cigarette butts at one of the main doors , numerous old security check in tickets nearby on the veranda.; a dead marine , butts on a back entrance . That this building with the large parking area at the rear has not been turned into a bustling market , art centre and eatery , much better and bigger than the Mindil Beach Market, in Darwin , with a touch of Christchurch , New Zealand, flair, is hard to fathom .
One of the security notices warns that the premises are under video surveillance which apparently does not pick up the birds making a mess , cigarettes being stubbed out or flicked in .
The ABC has an office just across the road from the buildings mentioned here and if a reporter ventured out , had a look and asked questions , there is a good story to be had . It could include the fact that the large plaque , below , across from the Queens Hotel , with drawings and information about the colourful past , like other plaques in the city , is virtually illegible . Dame Nelly Melba, Ms McLurcan-she perhaps the first Australian international cook of fame , famous artists, etc.
Townsville's old buildings and plaques deserve better care and attention , especially ones in a major part of the city's waterfront . The Townsville City Council , Townsville Enterprise , property owners and others responsible for this situation should get their act together . Queen Victoria is not amused .
And Prince Harry's cardboard cut out would undoubtedly be unimpressed if it were taken for a grand tour of the historic buildings and saw Townsville crap, evident in so many places about the city .
UPCOMING : More S(h)ipping Reporter specials which the local media fail to pick up. You have to wonder if reporters venture out much in Townsville as so many stories jump out at you if you walk about the CBD , the waterfront , venture into pubs , ask questions . For example , for some weeks , there has been noisy , major work going on at the Museum of Tropical Queensland , only a short distance from the ABC. What was it all about ? Has the atmosphere in the jungle been changed ? What does this mean ? How much did it cost ? Any solar energy involved ?