A BRISBANE woman was issued a $243 on-the-spot fine for littering in Fortitude Valley, after the tip of her lipstick broke off while she was adjusting her makeup.
The woman and three girlfriends, all in their early 40s, were walking through the Brunswick St at about 8.30pm, when she stopped to top up her lipstick.
The tip broke off, and was so small that she was unsuccessful in her attempts to find it on the dimly-lit pavement.
The group walked on but were followed by two Brisbane City Council litter officers and a police officer. They were walking up the next block when the lipstick offender was stopped and told she was going to be fined for littering.
"We all thought it was a joke," a friend who was with the woman said. "We'd only had one drink and we were walking to a friend's birthday party."
She said her friend was tapped on the shoulder by the council officer who asked her name and if she knew she could be fined for littering. He cautioned her the conversation was being recorded.
She was told she had dropped the top of her lipstick in the mall and that she had known that she had dropped it.
The friend said the woman was not carrying her driver's licence and the police officer had then checked her identity.
"It was a really upsetting incident," the friend said. "They never instructed us to go back and pick up the litter, or clean it up.''
The group walked back down the mall to see what it was all about and found a small smudge of lipstick on the pavement.
"The smudge was smaller than a 10 cent piece. It happened right next to a pedestrian crossing and it would have been stepped on within seconds,'' the friend said.
"It was easily missed by my friend because it was so tiny.''
The lipstick owner posted a message and photo of the smudge to Facebook which soon had the comment: "You could buy so many lipsticks for $243."
Acting Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who personally phoned the woman after learning of the incident this afternoon, said he had ordered the incident to be reviewed.
"While council does not tolerate littering, this certainly doesn't appear to be littering and there needs to be a common-sense approach taken," Cr Schrinner said.
"In light of the unique circumstances surrounding this incident I have asked for the matter to be reviewed as a matter of priority."
The fine was issued in March but was not disputed at the time, according to council records.
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