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Time to talk toilets

Greater Shepparton City Council has decided to take a strategic approach to public tiolets and will develop a policy which looks at where they are needed.

DARREN LINTON November 22, 2012 4:10am

Greater Shepparton City Council is taking a strategic approach to public toilets by developing a policy that looks at where and when people need one handy.

City of Greater Shepparton councillor Michael Polan presented a notice of motion at Tuesday’s council meeting calling for the policy.

Cr Polan said it probably should have been done at the time the council was considering the ‘‘space-age’’ toilet at Queen’s Gardens.

Also, during this year’s election campaign it was clear there was ‘‘general unhappiness’’ about the number and quality of toilets in the municipality, he said.

‘‘There seems to be no consistency about toilet locations,’’ he said.

‘‘The locations are not well-documented or thought out. Baby change facilities are in short supply and some of the smaller towns have no public toilets at all.’’

Cr Polan referred to Mitchell Shire Council’s public toilet policy, which he said was a good model.

‘‘It goes into locations, how they should be built and where they should be built,’’ he said.

The toilet issue also came to light during budget submissions this year.

Council’s own Disability Advisory Committee made a passionate plea for an adult change facility in the central business district.

The submission said people with a disability were avoiding the city centre because they were forced to use toilet floors if they were caught short.

Councillors voted unanimously to support the development of a policy.

Cr Polan’s motion called for an inventory of council-managed toilets in the municipality, including comments about the suitability of the location, physical condition, safety, accessibility, perceived usage, frequency of cleaning, aesthetics and estimated adequacy into the future.

Officers will also complete an assessment of the main business districts and highway entrances to the city where there may be a significant need for additional toilet facilities.

The public toilet report is to be presented to the April meeting with a view to releasing a draft Public Toilet Policy for public comment by June 30.

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