Two used syringes have been located at Colleges Crossing over the past fortnight.
Two used syringes have been located at Colleges Crossing over the past fortnight.

Grubby discovery taints popular Ipswich picnic spot

THE discovery of a used syringe at Colleges Crossing has tainted what was supposed to be an idyllic afternoon for Trinette Marchant and her family.

Located by her children just metres from where they had been kayaking, the mother-of-five said it was a shock to see the grubby item floating at the river’s edge.

“We’ve been [to Colleges Crossing] a few times over the years, we just upgraded our gear over Christmas, so we were keen to get out and spend some time there,” she said.

While it was a lucky escape for the Brassall family, further issues were soon presented during Ms Marchant’s attempt to safely dispose of the needle.

“We put it in a 1.25 litre Coke bottle. I took it up to the cafe and the staff said to check the toilets for a sharps disposal,” she said.

“I checked all the toilets and I couldn’t find anything, so I rang Policelink and they said it’s probably a council matter.”

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Despite her efforts to search four separate toilets, no disposal containers were found.

“Policelink messaged me the number for the Clean Needle hotline and when I rang them, they pretty much told me to take it to Laidley Hospital as it was my closest sharps disposal.”

Ms Marchant said the call-taker even suggested she dispose of the needle in her own bin.

More accurate information needed to be readily accessible to residents, she said.

“I just didn’t know who to ring, Policelink or Council.”

“It’s the first time I’ve seen [a syringe] there, I’ve seen posts previously on Facebook about it, but you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you.”

Unfortunately, it was a similar occurence for Carissa Chapman, whose six-year-old son endured a near miss with a needle at the site last week.

She said her son had slid down a grassed area where they later located a used syringe.

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A six-year-old boy had a near miss with a used syringe at Colleges Crossing last week. Pic: Carissa Chapman.
A six-year-old boy had a near miss with a used syringe at Colleges Crossing last week. Pic: Carissa Chapman.

An Ipswich City Council spokesman said on Thursday that Council strongly advised the public not to touch used needles.

“Call Council and an officer will collect. Service delivery is within 24 hours; however it is usually well within this time,” he said.

“Council has duty officers rostered after hours to attend to such matters.”

He said Colleges Crossing did not require safety disposal facilities.

“Council officers believe the syringe found on the river is likely to have floated from either a storm water drains or upriver,” he said.

“There is not a sharps container at Colleges Crossing. Installing one may encourage behaviour to this area that is currently absent.”

For more information on safe disposal, click here or phone (07) 3810 8100.

Ipswich City Council said intalling a Sharps Disposal at Colleges Crossing may encourage behaviour.
Ipswich City Council said intalling a Sharps Disposal at Colleges Crossing may encourage behaviour.

Local disposal sites across Ipswich:

  • Leichhardt Park – 1A Ernest Street, Leichhardt; in toilets (single-use syringe only)
  • Cobb & Co. Heritage Park – 27 John Street, Rosewood (single-use only)
  • Riverheart Parklands – 20 Bremer Street, Ipswich; in toilets near the railway bridge (single-use only)
  • Cameron Park – 95A Brisbane Road, Booval; opposite number 10 Easton Street (single-use only)
  • Entrance to Ipswich Health Plaza, Bell Street Ipswich; near car park entrance (large bin for syringe container disposal)
  • Goodna Community Health Centre, 81 Queen Street, Goodna; entrance to car park (large bins for syringe container disposal)
  • Browns Park, 29 Downs Street, North Ipswich; in toilets (single-use only)
  • Langley Park – 7 Bruce Lane, Camira; in toilet attached to the Hall (single-use only)