A Tasmanian museum owner has accused the local council of “bullying and discriminating behaviour” after officials said the sign for the Pooseum, as it’s known, doesn’t comply with local heritage regulations.
The saga between Pooseum owner Karen Koch and the Clarence City Council has been going on since 2019, The Mercury reports.
The council reckons having a massive sign which says POOSEUM on the main street of Richmond, just outside of Hobart, wrecks the cultural heritage of the streetscape. The Pooseum’s defenders, and Koch herself, reckon this is a load of crap.
“After nearly three years of being a popular selfie spot, the Council has forced us to remove it,” Koch wrote on Facebook earlier this year.
“Instead of supporting small businesses, they are obstructive, narrow-minded, and short-sighted. Unfortunately for everyone else, they have the power to make arbitrary decisions based on their personal opinions and some vague ‘guidelines’ they invent themselves.”
Now Koch has even written a strongly-worded letter to the Tasmanian Integrity Commission alleging that the council has “engaged in ongoing bullying and discriminating behaviour to enforce the removal of the sign, because, as a council member told me in a face-to-face meeting, they ‘don’t like it’.”
The council has argued that the sign first went up without a permit, and that they’re just enforcing the rules without fear or favour. Clearly, they’re not in the pocket of Big Sphincter.
“Richmond is a vital heritage and tourist destination for the City of Clarence, and it is important that the heritage significance of the area is conserved. This is particularly so for Bridge Street, which is of key heritage significance,” Clarence City Council General Manager Ian Nelson told the Daily Mail.
“We’re obligated by law to enforce the planning scheme, we can’t pick and choose how and when to do it, and it is there to protect this important historical precinct for future generations.
“Richmond will be celebrating its bicentenary in 2023-24 and it is essential that the historic attributes that make this village unique are conserved and protected.”
Koch, meanwhile, claims some council members have even boasted about never having visited the Pooseum.
It’s a pretty shithouse situation to be in as an owner of a humble Pooseum, so now Koch has started a Change.org petition to keep the sign in place. It’s already clocked over 1,600 signatures.
First it was the Pooseum, who’s to say the poo police won’t come for Mona’s Cloaca (a.k.a. the big poo machine) next?