Paradise being ruined: Locals want toilets at Killen Falls
RESIDENTS living near a popular swimming hole say the time has long gone since the picturesque spot was a secret, and have called on Ballina Shire Council to build toilets and other facilities.
David Bester said visitors who defecated and littered at Killen Falls were killing the paradise for others.
Mr Bester organised a petition calling on council to install amenities at the falls, attracting 1200 signatures in just over a week.
He said the falls had grown popular over the past few years, and in one day in recent weeks, about 500 people visited the falls. The average is 150 per day.
"We could see this coming," said Mr Bester who has lived near the falls for 30 years.
"It's only going to get more popular and we have to manage it," he said.
Gail Woodgate, who has lived near the falls for 12 years, said the number of visitors this summer had been " ridiculous".
Ms Woodgate said the falls had well and truly become a tourist attraction in Ballina Shire and needed more facilities.
Mr Bester said visitors to the falls regularly went to the toilet in bushes, leaving excrement and toilet paper.
That's behaviour he described as "unacceptable", but said it was happening because there were no toilets at the site.
He said the couple of rubbish bins were regularly full, so visitors dumped rubbish in the bush.
He said most residents did not mind sharing the beautiful natural spot with visitors, but wanted the council now to provide toilets, more garbage bins and more seating.
The council has built a boardwalk and viewing platform, but most landscaping work, the residents say, was done by Rous Water when the dam was upgraded about 10 years ago.
Mr Bester also has contributed spent many hours planting rainforest species in the area.
Killen Falls is downstream from Emigrant Creek Dam. The land was bequeathed to the community by Shirley Green many years ago.
This is the second time residents have petitioned for toilets to be built, saying the council did not act on a 2011 request.