Council to consider Greater Bendigo Public Toilet Strategy

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The Greater Bendigo City Council will consider adopting the Public Toilet Strategy at next week’s meeting, which makes 55 recommendations to improve the public toilet network.

The strategy sets a vision for Council to provide ‘high quality public toilets that are clean and safe and that cater for the needs of all residents, workers and visitors to Greater Bendigo’.

The objectives for achieving this vision are divided into four key themes: network distribution, design, accessibility and management. The strategy also sets out a 10-year implementation plan for upgrading, decommissioning or building new facilities, and includes an assessment framework to prioritise the development of new facilities that have not been identified in the strategy.

A report to Council notes there are currently 54 public toilets in the municipality, including seven public toilets in rural areas that the City does not own or manage.

A range of community and stakeholder engagement activities informed the strategy, including targeted workshops, listening posts and a community survey that achieved 890 online responses.

Community feedback said the public toilets in most need of an upgrade were:

  • Lyttleton Terrace (near Coles supermarket)
  • Hargreaves Mall
  • Lake Weeroona
  • Hargreaves Street multi-storey car park

The toilets that were most used were:

  • Market Place (non-Council owned)
  • Lyttleton Terrace (near Coles supermarket)
  • Lake Weeroona
  • Myer (non-Council owned)
  • Library

Of the feedback received, 81.9 per cent of people preferred designated male and female cubicles, versus 16.3 per cent who preferred unisex toilets.

The following were the preferred fixtures and fittings people would like in public toilets:

  • Lighting and security
  • Toilet seats
  • Soap dispensers
  • Hand dryers
  • Natural ventilation

The strategy does not recommend Council adopt a user-pays system in the foreseeable future, however it does recommend Council consider a ‘community toilet scheme’ whereby it would partner with other businesses and local organisations to increase the network of available public toilets.

The strategy suggests the program can operate in a number of different ways but the general agreement between Council and the businesses is that they allow members of the public to use privately-owned facilities.

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