Taxi rank trouble is embarrassing, says Amy Johnson

PERSONAL experience of the alcohol-fuelled violence at the Lydiard Street taxi rank has prompted City of Ballarat councillor Amy Johnson to demand action on the trouble spot.

It is concerning to see the ever-increasing level of public urination throughout Lydiard Street and surrounding areas - Cr Amy Johnson

Describing the situation at the late night rank where public urination is also increasing as "an embarrassment" during Wednesday's ordinary council meeting, Cr Johnson called for a briefing by council staff to address the myriad of problems at the site.

Cr Johnson said there was a "significant issue" with violence in the area and she had personally witnessed numerous fights in the past 18 months. 

"It is an embarrassment to say the least," she said.

"When people congregate in a particular area after drinking, there will invariably be trouble – this is a cultural issue that we need to work hard on, however we also need to ensure the safety of our residents by appropriately staffing the area with security personnel."

Within the briefing, she asked council officers to provide a report on the security provided by the city, along with an explanation of how the need was calculated for the number of security staff based at the site.

Cr Johnson said opportunities to provide a sheltered area for those utilising the taxi rank and for public toilets should also be considered.

"It is concerning to see the ever-increasing level of public urination throughout Lydiard Street and surrounding areas when the rank is operating, as well as the high level of violence in the area," Cr Johnson said.

"When residents leave clubs, pubs and restaurants after a few drinks and begin to queue at the rank, they often need to use a public toilet. As we well know, the closest public toilet is at the Town Hall, which is too far for our late-night revellers."

Council staff will report back to the councillors on her concerns.

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